General Crime

Ariel Romero Ortigoza Arrested for Allegedly Sending Lewd Messages to Walnut Creek Intermediate School Students

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A Walnut Creek man was arrested today for allegedly sending inappropriate text messages to middle school students, a police lieutenant said. Ariel Romero Ortigoza, 29, was arrested at Walnut Creek home today on suspicion of sending harmful matter to a minor with the intention to seduce, contact with a minor with the intent to commit a sex act and attempting to meet a minor to engage in lewd and lascivious conduct, police Lt. Steve Gorski said.

On Sunday, parents of Walnut Creek Intermediate School students reported that an unknown man was sending lewd social media messages to their daughters, police said. The parents reported that the man was also trying to arrange meetings with the underage girls to engage in sexual activity, according to police. Working with middle school administrators, detectives were able to identify other students who received messages from the suspect.

Gorski said about ten students received inappropriate messages from Ortigoza. After identifying the suspect, police obtained a search warrant, which was served today. In addition to arresting Ortigoza, police also seized evidence in connection with the alleged sex crimes. Police said the 29-year-old was taken to county jail in Martinez, where he is being held on $65,000 bail. Gorski said it is unclear why the suspect targeted the middle school, but that he was not employed there.

Anyone with further information about the suspect is asked to call Walnut Creek police Detective Keagy at (925) 953-5881

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