Man arrested on attempted child molestation charges

SOMERTON, Ariz. -  

Somerton police say a man is behind bars facing charges of attempted child molestation, following two separate incidents.

The Somerton Police Department said on June 11 at 12:25 a.m. the Somerton Police Department responded to the area of the 700 Block of E. Angelica Street where it was reported that a man was allegedly masturbating in the public presence of three minor females. Arriving officers located the suspect on scene and while conducting a preliminary investigation, the suspect fell ill and was transported to a local hospital for treatment. 

On June 15 at 5:16 p.m. officers from the Somerton Police Department were dispatched to the 800 block of E. Angelica Street where it was reported that a man asked a six-year-old to touch him in the groin area, the suspect then pulled down the six-year-old’s pants.  Police said a relative of the six-year-old witnessed this, intervened, and called 911.  When officers arrived on the scene the suspect had fled the area.  The suspect was identified by the relative of the six-year-old.  It was at that time officers learned that the suspect was the same suspect involved in the June 11 incident in the 700 block of Angelica Street. 

The suspect later came to the Somerton Police Department where he was questioned about both incidents and after denying any responsibility was released without charges pending further investigation.  During the continued investigation by detectives from the Somerton Police Department and staff from Amberly’s Place, the four minor victims from both incidents were interviewed.  After these interviews the suspect was arrested and booked into the Yuma County Detention Center.

Arrested and charged in this investigation is 45-year-old Jose Luis Ibarra, 45, also known as Jose Roberto Soto of Somerton, Ariz.  Ibarra has been indicted by the Superior Court in Yuma County on the following charges: Attempted Child Molestation, Luring a Minor for Sexual Exploitation, Aggravated Assault with Sexual Motivation (4 counts), Public Sexual Indecency to a Minor (3 counts), and Indecent Exposure to a Minor (3 counts).

Ibarra was arraigned in Yuma County Superior Court on June 20. Bond was set at $200,000, Ibarra remains in custody.

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