Oakdale Police arrested a 23-year-old Oakdale High School volunteer on Friday, Jan. 22 after an investigation revealed he had been having a sexual relationship with a 16-year old male student.
Oakdale Police Detective Sergeant Joe Johnson said Anthony Perez, of Oakdale, was taken into custody for an array of child molestation violations after the victim’s parent contacted police about the crimes on Jan 20. The parent had been notified of the incident by school administrators who looked into the matter after rumors were brought to their attention.
Perez is a Volunteer Aide with the school color guard, and also works in the music and drama departments.
Sergeant Johnson said investigators had attempted to contact Perez at his job and residence and left messages for Perez to contact them. In the late afternoon on Jan. 22, Perez came to the police station to inquire and was questioned by detectives.
“He heard we were looking for him,” Johnson said. “During questioning, he corroborated details from the victim.”
Sergeant Johnson said the investigation showed Perez and the victim, who was 15 during the initial contact, met on an Internet Adult website and recognized each other from their involvement with the school’s extra-curricular activities. The pair arranged to meet for sex.
“It was consensual—as much as a 15-year-old can legally consent,” Sgt. Johnson said.
Perez consented to a search of his Magnolia Avenue home. During their search, investigators took Perez’s cell phone as evidence.
“He didn’t have a computer,” Sgt. Johnson said. “It looks like he did everything on his phone.”
Perez was arrested for child molestation and communicating with a minor by use of the Internet for the purpose of sexual gratification, sending harmful matter to seduce a minor and contacting a minor to commit a felony.
Perez was booked at Stanislaus County Jail and posted $50,000 bail the following day.
Sergeant Johnson said police are still investigating the incident and are reaching out in an attempt to contact any other victims.
Anyone with information about this case should contact Detective Sergeant Joe Johnson or Detective Aaron Beatty at (209) 847-2231.