SAN ARDO — Monterey County Child Protective Services contacted the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office on March 20 at about 9:45 a.m. to report it had received information about an incident involving the sexual abuse of a child.

At that time, the Sheriff’s Office Investigations Unit initiated a criminal investigation into the incident. As part of the investigation, the Unit contacted and interviewed the confidential juvenile victim.

Jose Ruiz Santos aka Rene Ruiz

Through the course of the investigation, the Unit was able to determine the suspect was utilizing a fake name and then determined his true identity, the Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

The Unit then located the suspect — Jose Ruiz Santos aka Rene Ruiz, 48, of San Ardo — and took him into custody without incident.

A search warrant was then served at an address in the 20200 block of Cattleman Road in San Ardo, where a forensic collection of evidence was conducted.

Santos was booked into the Monterey County Jail for multiple charges, including lewd acts and oral copulation with a child under 14 years of age; rape of a child under 14; sexual penetration of a child under 14; and continuous sexual abuse of a child.

Due to the repeated longterm abuse of the child, the current bail was initially set at $18.5 million.

“Currently, this investigation is ongoing,” the Sheriff’s Office said.

Anyone who was a victim, has information to share or has additional details regarding this case is encouraged to contact Detective Daniel Hopkins at 831-755-3814 or Detective Sgt. Nicholas Kennedy at 831-755-3773 of the Monterey County Sheriff’s Sex Crimes Unit.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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