Who is Jorge Vasquez? California sex offender molests 2 boys after release in 2018
Vasquez slapped with eight new counts, after it emerged that he fondled two children and is now facing life in prison
Jorge Vasquez, a convicted child molester reportedly fondled two more boys, just six months after he was released from jail. Vasquez reportedly molested the two boys in Tulare and San Luis Obispo counties in California, since June 2018. He was arrested by the Porterville police on Sunday, June 6 and now faces life in prison.
In April, retired Pennsylvania cop James Carey was arrested and slapped with 122 child molestation charges, with cases going as far back as 1991. In March, Philip Samuel Mercon was sentenced to 14 years in prison for molesting a 12-year-old. Child molestation and pornography have been sharply on the rise, with numerous people arrested and charged. The most recent high-profile case is that of Josh Duggar, who was arrested on April 29.
But while arresting has been easy, convicting such people can be a bigger challenge. The case of Vasquez is a good example of this. Vasquez was released from jail in 2018 after he spent 17 years without a trial, owing to a large churn in personnel at the public defender's office in Los Angeles. Here's the story of Vasquez and how the system allowed him to molest two more children, despite his record.
Who is Jorge Vasquez?
Not much is known about Vasquez prior to his initial arrest, but he was charged with numerous counts of child molestation, with cases dating back to the '90s. he once reportedly said that he was molested as a child, by an adult neighbor. In 1995, he pleaded no contest to four counts of child molestation. He was arrested and charged for molesting children between six and eight years old in South Los Angeles. According to court documents, Vasquez lured children into an alleyway with the promise of candy, before he performed oral sex on three boys. He also forced another boy to perform oral sex on him. At the time, he was sentenced to 12 years in prison. There have been varied reports regarding his age as well, while Fox pits his age as 46, the Los Angeles Times states his age as 48.
Then in 2000, the DA's office filed a petition seeking to have Vasquez committed to a state hospital as a sexually violent predator. Prosecutors believed he was at risk of committing the offenses again if released and wanted him to receive treatment under California’s sexually violent predator act. From then till 2017, his case was handled by various public defenders, with each asking to push back the hearing so as to adequately prepare a defense.
According to Fox News, a total of five defenders represented Vasquez during that time, while he was held at Coalinga State Hospital. Eventually, in 2016, a court dismissed a further request to postpone the trial, after Vasquez objected. The court removed the Public Defender's Office and appointed attorney Mark Brandt to represent Vasquez. Brandt immediately filed for dismissal, arguing that Vasquez's right to a speedy trial had been violated. In January 2018, L.A. County Superior Court Judge James Bianco granted that motion, saying, "there was a systemic breakdown of the public defender system."
During that motion, Brandt noted that Vasquez was diagnosed with a learning disability as an eight-year-old and he may have also suffered from a neurological injury during birth. Vasquez was subsequently released days later and as the DA feared, molested two more children just months later. In August 2020, he also received a $4.5 million settlement payout for the delay in getting a trial.
Vasquez's crimes continue
Court records show that Vasquez molested two more boys in the three years since his release. He was arrested on June 6 and the criminal complaint made public on June 8. The complaint shows that Vasquez groped the genitals and buttocks of two children on multiple occasions between June 2018 and June 5 of 2021. One of the two victims was molested in San Luis Obispo County, while the other was molested in Tulare County. Vasquez was charged with eight counts of child molestation and one count of failure to register as a sex offender.
Both cases will be prosecuted in Tulare County, where Vasquez was arrested. According to documents, Tulare County DA Tim Ward has filed a number of special circumstance allegations. Special allegations include multiple victims, habitual sexual offense, substantial sexual conduct, and that Vasquez possesses prior convictions. If convicted, those allegations could lead Vasquez to life imprisonment. It is unclear who will defend Vasquez, and he did not appear for his arraignment on June 8. Both the DA's office and the court declined to comment on the case.