WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – A suspect, formerly of Warren, is facing child sex charges in California and investigators are looking for more victims.
According to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, Jason Valentine Esparza, 57, has been charged with three felony counts of attempted oral copulation or sexual penetration of a child 10 years old or younger and two felony counts of attempted forcible lewd act on a child under the age of 14.
Investigators say Esparza groomed women to babysit children as young as four years old and bring them to hotels so he could molest them.
Police in Huntington Beach got a cyber tip about Esparza in September 2022 and started an investigation.
During the eight-month investigation, detectives began communicating with Esparza while posing as an adult female who was babysitting a four-year-old girl. During those communications, Esparza is accused of expressing his desire to perform very specific sexual acts on the child.
On April 7, 2023, Esparza was told that the child was at a Huntington Beach hotel room and he was arrested by undercover detectives when he entered the room.
Esparza, who is originally from Warren, Ohio, also has connections to Huntington Beach, Long Beach and Fullerton. Anyone with information relating to Esparza is asked to call the Huntington Beach Police Department WeTip Hotline at (714) 375-5066. Anonymous tips can also be made to OC Crime Stoppers by calling (855) TIPOCCS (1-855-847-6227).