Tulare County Man Arrested for Allegedly Grooming, Sexually Abusing Underage Victim
Above: Genaro Almanza Morales III arrest photo | Tulare County Sheriff’s Office
A man has been arrested in Tulare County for allegedly misrepresenting himself online in order to groom and sexually abuse an underage victim.
According to a press release by the Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to a residence in Dinuba following a report of possible child molestation early in the morning on Tuesday, May 23. A family member had reportedly discovered an adult male inside her 12-year-old granddaughter’s bedroom, which prompted an immediate investigation by detectives.
Upon arrival, detectives began a preliminary investigation which revealed that the juvenile victim had met the suspect online, where the suspect had portrayed himself as a 14- to 16-year-old individual. The suspect had then driven to the victim’s residence and allegedly coerced the victim into engaging in sexual acts.
The suspect then fled the area after being discovered, but a joint effort by law enforcement agencies, including the Sheriff’s CATTCH Team (County Apprehension Team Tracking Criminals in Hiding), the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, Shafter Police Department, and the California Highway Patrol, successfully located the suspect at a gas station in Shafter.
The apprehended individual, identified as 26-year-old Genaro Almanza Morales III, was taken into custody without resistance. He was subsequently booked into the Adult Pre-Trial Facility on suspicion of child molestation. It was unclear at press time whether Morales had retained an attorney.
Authorities have stated that this investigation remains ongoing. Those with any information pertinent to the case are encouraged to contact Detective Esmeralda Ramos or Sergeant Jessica Zendejas of the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office at (559) 733-6218. Individuals can also choose to remain anonymous by calling or texting (559) 725-4194 or by emailing email@example.com.
There are many resources available to help parents keep their children safe online. Per the United States Department of Justice, some steps parents can take include discussing internet safety with their children and developing a plan, supervising their internet use, cautioning them against sharing any personal information, and teaching them about body safety and boundaries.