Man Arrested on Suspicion of Elder Abuse and Sexual Assault, Multiple Victims
Photo: Russell Bernardino
A licensed massage therapist and home health care provider was arrested at his residence last Wednesday on suspicion of elder abuse, oral copulation, sexual battery, and rape.
The suspect, 43-year-old Russell Bernardino of Mission Viejo, had been licensed as a home health care provider for two years and a massage therapist for three years. During the years of 2017-2018, he was employed by West Coast Care in Orange. In March 2018, he provided care for a 77-year-old woman, who reported that he raped her in her home in Laguna Woods.
This year, while working as a massage therapist at Massage Envy in Mission Viejo, he was reported for sexual assault by two additional women, a 36-year-old woman in April and a 71-year-old in June. Both women reported they were assaulted while receiving a massage from Bernardino.
Bernardino has worked at several massage businesses over the past few years and may have worked for other home health care companies as well.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department Special Victims detail arrested Bernardino at his residence at 8:00 AM on Wednesday, July 17. He is being held on $100,000 bail at the Orange County Jail.
The public has been asked to provide any known information relating to this suspect, as investigators believe there are likely additional victims. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at 714-647-7419. Those who would like to remain anonymous can contact OC Crime Stoppers at 855-TIP-OCCS (855-847-6227) or at occrimestoppers.org.