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Barstow man arrested in sexual abuse of at least 5 former foster children

CBS News Los Angeles: The Rundown (Sept. 16 AM Edition)
CBS News Los Angeles: The Rundown (Sept. 16 AM Edition) 01:59

A Barstow man has been arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing several of his former foster children, and police believe he may have more victims.

(credit: San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department)

Juan Antonio Esparza, 71, was arrested Thursday in the 31000 block of Balsa Avenue. He was booked on suspicion of lewd and lascivious acts on a child and oral copulation of a child.

According to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, allegations against Esparza first surfaced in June. Since then, five former foster children were identified as victims of sexual abuse by Esparza, authorities said.

Esparza was brought in for questioning Thursday and subsequently arrested. He is being held on $250,000 bail and is scheduled to make his next court appearance Monday.

Because detectives believe there may be more victims, Esparza's booking photo was released to the public. Anyone with information about Esparza can contact the San Bernardino County sheriff's Crime Against Children Detail at (909) 387-3545.

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