Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
MAN SENTENCED FOR EXPOSING PENIS TO FOUR MINORS AND 18-YEAR-OLD GIRL AS THEY WALKED TO SCHOOL
*The fifth victim was identified based on media coverage of the first four victims
WESTMINSTER – A man was convicted and sentenced today for exposing his penis to five teen girls, four of whom were minors, as they walked to school. John Rodriguez, 20, Santa Ana, pleaded guilty to four misdemeanor counts of child annoyance, one misdemeanor count of indecent exposure, and one misdemeanor count of false imprisonment. He was sentenced to one year in jail, five years of formal probation, and lifetime sex offender registration.
At approximately 8:45 a.m. on Jan. 25, 2011, Rodriguez approached 15-year-old Jane Doe #1 in his car as she was walking on Newhope Street and Opal Avenue in Fountain Valley to Los Amigos High School. Rodriguez asked the victim for directions to Mile Square Park. As Jane Doe #1 began to give him directions, he pulled down the front portion of his shorts and exposed his penis to the victim. Rodriguez reached out and grabbed the victim’s right wrist. Jane Doe #1 was able to escape, ran to her school, and reported the sexual assault to the Fountain Valley Police Department (FVPD). The defendant fled the scene.
At approximately 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 18, 2011, Rodriguez approached two female siblings in his car as they were walking to Los Amigos High School in Fountain Valley. While in a residential area on Holly Avenue and San Gabriel Street, he asked 17-year-old Jane Doe #2 and her 14-year-old sister Jane Doe #3 for directions through his open driver side window to Newhope Street. After the victims gave the defendant directions, Rodriguez drove away. Seconds later, he returned again in his car and approached the victims to offer them a ride. Jane Doe #2 and Jane Doe #3 said no, and then Rodriguez exposed and stroked his penis in front of the victims while seated in his car and asked, “You want some of this?” The defendant fled the scene. The two siblings called their father, who instructed them to continue to school and report the incident to police. FVPD investigated the case.
At approximately 8:40 a.m. on Aug. 16, 2011, 18-year-old Jane Doe #4 was walking on McFadden Avenue in Santa Ana to La Quinta High School in Westminster. Rodriguez approached the victim in his car and called out his window to get her attention. Jane Doe #4, thinking he needed directions, walked up to the open passenger side window. Rodriguez exposed his penis to the victim while holding it and asked, “How about some of this?” Jane Doe #4 moved away from the vehicle and was able to obtain the vehicle’s license plate. The defendant fled the scene. Once at school, the victim reported the sexual assault.
Upon further investigation conducted by FVPD and the Westminster Police Department (WPD), Rodriguez was linked to the sexual assaults of Jane Does #1 through #4. He was arrested Aug. 19, 2011. On Aug. 22, 2011, the Orange County District Attorney’s (OCDA) Office sent a press release regarding the first four victims and asked for the public’s help identifying potential additional victims. Based on the media coverage, Jane Doe #5 recognized Rodriguez and came forward to law enforcement.
On Aug. 11, 2011, Rodriguez approached 16-year-old Jane Doe #5 in his car as she was walking on Edinger Avenue in Santa Ana to Valley High School. He asked Jane Doe #5 if she wanted a ride. The victim refused and kept walking. Rodriguez drove his car up to the victim again and asked through the window, “Want some d***?” Rodriguez exposed and stroked his penis in front of the victim. Jane Doe #5 yelled and ran away toward a group of women crossing the street nearby. She reported the incident to the Santa Ana Unified School District Police that day. A report was taken but the identity of the defendant was unknown until Jane Doe #5 recognized Rodriguez from media coverage of his first four victims.
With exception to the sisters, the victims in this case do not know the defendant or each other.
During the sentencing today, victim impact statements were submitted to the court by Jane Doe #1 and Jane Doe #5. Jane Doe #1 wrote, “This crime changed me a lot because now I do not help others because I can’t trust strangers. Sometimes at night I can’t sleep because I feel like that man is going to come in through my window. My mom doesn’t let me walk to school because she is scared that it could happen again. I don’t want to be scared, but I can’t help it.”
Jane Doe #5 wrote, “This incident has affected my family, friends, community, and I in so many ways. Now when I walk home…I panic that someone else could do [the same thing], and this time rape me. I don’t like to go out much [now] because I’m scared that something bad could happen to me.”
Rodriguez is a resident of Santa Ana and drives a black 2009 Toyota Camry. At the time of the crimes, he worked as a dental assistant in Santa Ana.
As a registered sex offender, Rodriguez is prohibited from entering County, Irvine, La Habra, Los Alamitos, and Westminster City parks without prior permission from the respective police departments because these municipalities recently enacted laws creating child safety zones to protect children from sexual predators in places where they regularly gather. Huntington Beach, Laguna Hills and Yorba Linda will be discussing the child safety zone ordinance at their city council meetings on Nov. 7, 2011, Nov. 8, 2011, and Nov. 15, 2011, respectively. Several other cities are also in the process of developing their child safety zone ordinances.
Deputy District Attorney Richard Zimmer prosecuted this case.