Orange County law enforcement officials are looking for more information about a Huntington Beach man arrested after he allegedly tried to arrange a meeting with a child he planned to rape, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s office.
After getting an anonymous tip about him in September, Huntington Beach police began investigating Jason Valentine Esparza, 57, a district attorney’s news release said. Detectives engaged in a sting operation, contacting Esparza and posing as a woman babysitting a four-year-old girl; earlier this month, Esparza allegedly went to a Huntington Beach motel believing the child was there and got arrested.
Public records show Esparza may have lived at several Long Beach addresses over a number of years before he moved to Orange County. According to the news release, he is originally from Warren, Ohio, and may have ties to Fullerton in addition to Long Beach.
Esparza is 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. He is scheduled to be arraigned April 28 in Westminster.
The news release said police believe Esparza groomed women to babysit and give him access to young children and that he is suspected of assaults that occurred over several decades, but it doesn’t provide further details on any alleged crimes.
Anyone with information about Esparza may call the Huntington Beach Police Department’s tip line at 714-375-5066 or OC Crime Stoppers at 855-847-6227.