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Man previously suspected in Costa Mesa case faces 24 child sex crime charges in O.C.

Man previously suspected in Costa Mesa case faces 24 child sex crime charges in O.C.
Javier Ortiz Pichardo, 45, of Santa Ana was charged Tuesday with two dozen felony counts. (Courtesy of Santa Ana Police Department)

A 45-year-old Santa Ana man previously suspected in a 2002 child annoyance case in Costa Mesa now faces two dozen felony charges on allegations of sexually abusing four children in Orange County since 1997, according to the county district attorney’s office.

Javier Ortiz Pichardo was charged Tuesday with eight counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, nine counts of lewd acts on a child under 14, two counts of sexual intercourse/sodomy with a child 10 or younger, four counts of oral copulation/sexual penetration with a child 10 or younger and one count of forcible rape.

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His alleged victims were three girls and one boy — all of them between 7 and 9 years old when the abuse began, authorities said.

If convicted, Pichardo could face a maximum sentence of 416 years to life in state prison, according to the district attorney’s office.

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Pichardo was a suspect in the 2002 case in Costa Mesa but was not arrested because the case could not be proven, Santa Ana police said last week.

According to the district attorney’s office, Pichardo is accused of committing lewd acts on a 9-year-old girl on or about May 30, 2002, but it was not immediately clear whether that was related to Costa Mesa.

Pichardo is in Orange County Jail with bail set at $1 million. He is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 21.

Anyone with information about Pichardo’s case is asked to call Santa Ana police Det. Jessica Guidry at (714) 245-8530 or supervising investigator Eric Wiseman at (714) 347-8794.

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