Authorities say an illegal immigrant who was in jail, released, and then fled to Mexico, is still wanted on crimes of sexual assault against a 13-year-old child.
Detectives say a 13-year-old reported being the victim of Jose Vaca, a resident in Moorpark. Police investigating the incident say they found evidence linking Vaca back to the crime, and filed an arrest warrant with the Ventura County District Attorney's office.
However, during the course of the investigation, Vaca is believed to have fled to Mexico.
Eighteen months later, Vaca was booked into Ventura County jail on the outstanding warrant, holding him on $100,000 bail. Vaca posted the bond and was released the next morning. Officials with Immigration and Customs Enforcement say they issued an immigration hold to Ventura County to keep Vaca close.
Except, because of SB 54, sheriff's deputies were prohibited from notifying ICE about Vaca's pending release.
Although Vaca was arrested for a qualifying serious or violent offense, SB 54 requires that the arrestee has been arrested, booked and appeared before a judge prior to ICE being notified. In Vaca’s case, he posted bail before he had appeared in court.
In Vaca's case, he was able to post bail before appearing in court.
When he was released from jail, Vaca was ordered to appear in court on January 19, 2018. However, he did not appear in court as required by law. A bench warrant was issued for Vaca’s arrest for $250,000. The victim has been notified of the circumstances in this case. She is safely living out of state with family, and there is no threat to her or her family at this time.
Police believe Vaca has fled to Mexico and are actively trying to locate the suspect.
Ventura County Crime Stoppers say they're willing to pay up to $1,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime. The caller may remain anonymous. People can call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477) if they have any further information.