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California in Brief / SUN VALLEY

Laborer held in molestation case

May 09, 2008|Molly Hennessy-Fiske

Los Angeles police have arrested a Sun Valley day laborer on suspicion of molesting two children, ages 3 and 6, and are searching for other possible victims.

Pedro Ortiz, 28, was arrested without incident after investigators served a search warrant at his home Monday, police said.

Ortiz was arrested on suspicion of committing lewd acts on a child under 14, said Los Angeles police spokesman Richard French, and booked at Valley Jail Section in Van Nuys, where he was held on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold, according to police.

Investigators said Ortiz, a Mexican national who has not been cooperating with the investigation, has prior narcotics-related felony convictions and was deported to Mexico in 2003.

Ortiz has lived in the Panorama City area, used the names Pete, Sadot Lopez and Andres Lopez, and provided investigators with several dates of birth, police said.

Ortiz would allegedly rent a room or home next-door to his intended victim in order to befriend the child or the child's family, police said.

The two alleged victims are Latino, but investigators don't believe Ortiz solely targeted Latinos, said Los Angeles Police Lt. Alan Hamilton.

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