Orange County sheriff's investigators suspect a tattoo artist from Mission Viejo charged with molesting a 14-year-old girl may have three or more victims, a sheriff's spokesman said today.
Edder Giovani Nieves-Vera, 29, was charged with lewd acts on a child age 14 or 15, meeting a minor to commit lewd conduct and luring a child to commit a crime, all felonies, according to court records. He was scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 1.
Nieves-Vera was arrested this week at the Dana Point Harbor by the Orange County Child Exploitation Task Force, which consists of federal and Orange County law enforcement personnel.
He was initially accused of molesting two 14-year-old girls, but he has so far been charged only with one victim, according to prosecutors.
Now sheriff's investigators suspect there is a third victim and could be more, said Jim Amormino of the Orange County Sheriff's Department.
On Dec. 21, the parents of a 14-year-old girl reported to Orange County deputies that a man contacted their daughter on Facebook, offering her a free tattoo, drugs and alcohol, Amormino said.
The girl and her friend, also 14, met with Nieves-Vera on Dec. 15 at his home in Mission Viejo, where he offered them drugs and gave them alcohol and tattoos, Amormino said.
“He engaged in highly inappropriate conduct, including sexual advances,” Amormino said.
Nieves-Vera was arrested by Murrieta police in 2004 for child annoyance and having false identifying documents, Amormino said.
In that case he drove up to a 14-year-old girl walking to school, offering to give her a ride, touch her and take her photo, Amormino said.
Nieves-Vera was sentenced to three years in prison in that case and then was deported, Amormino said.
On Jan. 11, investigators started chatting with Nieves-Vera online, with agents pretending to be the 14-year-old girl, Amormino said. When Nieves-Vera showed up for a meeting Tuesday afternoon at the Dana Point Harbor with the girl to finish her tattoo, investigators were waiting with handcuffs, Amormino said.
Anyone with information relevant to the case was asked to call sheriff's investigators at (714) 647-7000, or the Orange County Crime Stoppers organization at (855) TIP-OCCS.
--City News Service