|For Immediate Release
Case # 06HF0342
September 19, 2007
Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
OCDA BRINGS BACK FUGITIVE ARRESTED
IN MIAMI TO FACE CHILD MOLEST CHARGES
SANTA ANA – A fugitive who fled Orange County to avoid trial on child molest charges will be brought back tomorrow to face charges after being arrested trying to re-enter the United States though Miami, Florida, on a flight from Bolivia.
Jerry Espada, 45, formerly of Dana Point, is charged with eight felony counts of lewd acts on a child under 14, one felony count of lewd acts on a child, and a sentencing enhancement allegation for committing substantial sexual conduct with a child. If convicted on all counts, he faces a maximum sentence of 24 years and eight months in prison. The defendant was arrested on a $500,000 warrant in Miami. He waived extradition and is scheduled to be brought back to Orange County by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Fugitive Unit tomorrow, Thursday, September 20, 2007.
Between April 15, 1990 and April 14, 2000, Espada is accused of sexually assaulting Jane Doe when she was between the ages 5 and 15 years old. He is accused of molesting the victim while he was living with her mother and engaging in oral copulation and mutual masturbation with the victim.
Espada attended every court hearing for the molestation charges, but failed to appear at his jury trial on June 25, 2007. The defendant is accused of fleeing the country to avoid prosecution. On September 6, 2007, Espada was arrested on the Orange County warrant as he attempted to pass through customs after arriving at the airport in Miami on a flight from Bolivia. The Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement had placed an immigration hold on the defendant for his crimes in Orange County.
Deputy District Attorney Lynda Fernandez of the Sexual Assault Unit is prosecuting the case.