A third alleged victim has come forward accusing a 28-year-old registered sex offender of sexual assault, and police believe there may be additional victims, officials said on Monday.
Richie Esquivel Corvera, 28, of Whittier, was arrested Friday on suspicion of rape by force or fear and for violation of probation, according to the Whittier Police Department.
Corvera is accused of luring two girls, ages 14 and 15, into his car on separate occasions before taking them to motels and sexually assaulting them, Whittier detectives said.
On both occasions, which occurred on Wednesday and Thursday, Corvera allegedly parked in the Sierra Vista alternative High School parking lot during daytime hours to make contact with the girls, who are students at the school, police said.
Corvera was arrested during a traffic stop on Friday, just hours after the teen girls reported the assaults.
Authorities revealed Monday that a third victim came forward after media reports. The teenage girl, who is not a student at Sierra Vista, was taken to a motel in October and sexually assaulted, Whittier police Officer John Scoggins said. Details on the assault were not immediately available but police said it was believed the victim was either walking to or from school.
"It certainly sounds like he's been very active. And he's certainly been targeting young females in the area for at least several months," said Scoggins said.
Police added an extra layer of security near the Sierra Vista on Monday, and school officials were making calls to parents to inform them of the incidents.
Whittier Union High School District Superintendent Sandy Thorstenson said the predator never entered the Sierra Vista campus and assured parents the district will continue to maintain a "safe and secure" environment.
"We ensure all visitors must sign in with campus security at the entrance of the school. Our campus security teams which include a school police officer, dean, campus security staff, counselors and administrators on each campus work diligently to maintain campuses that are safe for students, staff, parents and community members. We are also working with our teachers and staff to remind students of the care and precautions," Thorstenson said in a released statement.
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A 14-year-old student who saw Corvera's mug shot in media reports came forward Sunday night to say the accused man tried to lure her into a car on her way to school on Jan. 7. The Whittier High School freshman said Corvera was persistent, and offered to give her a ride to school but she declined and was not a victim of assault.
Corvera is on the sex offender registry for annoying or molesting a child under 18, authorities said. He is due to be arraigned in court on Tuesday and is being held without bail.
Police believe Corvera may have additional victims and are asking anyone with information to call the Whittier Police Department at 562- 567-9255.