Merced County Man Accused of Sexually Assaulting Minor on Their Way to School

Merced County Man Accused of Sexually Assaulting Minor on Their Way to School
Above: David Joseph Hart arrest photo | All photos courtesy of Merced PD

A Merced County man has been arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a minor, and investigators believe there may be other incidents that have yet to be reported.

Jeep Renegade identified from surveillance footage

29-year-old David Joseph Hart of Planada reportedly stands accused of assaulting the victim as they were walking to school on the morning of October 5. The victim, whose age and gender have not been disclosed, reportedly told officers that the suspect had also been armed with a knife.

Investigators interviewed the victim and then began an area search for the suspect. They soon learned that a man had been seen reportedly harassing juveniles in the same area back in August. They were able to obtain a surveillance photo of the man’s vehicle — a white Jeep Renegade.

Knives seized during Hart’s arrest

Investigators soon identified a specific 2016 Jeep Renegade that was registered to Hart’s ex-wife. Hart is now the primary suspect in both the assault and the reports of harassment, police sad.

Hart was ultimately located and arrested in Atwater, and booked on suspicion of lewd and lascivious acts with a child, assault with intent to commit a felony, criminal threats, false imprisonment, sexual battery, and child endangerment.

Anyone with information relevant to Hart or the investigation are encouraged to contact Detective Alicia Gorman at 209-388-7715 or at gormana[at]cityofmerced.org.

Merced County Man Accused of Sexually Assaulting Minor on Their Way to School was last modified: October 18th, 2022 by admin
Categories: Merced

About Author

Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a California based writer/reporter covering both national and local crime and arrest news, with a primary focus on the Northern California area.

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