School district employee arrested after trying to meet girl for sex

- Salinas police are asking for the public's help locating other possible underage victims of a school district employee who was arrested Thursday for allegedly setting up a meeting with a child in order to have sex.

Police arrested 32-year-old Prunedale resident Jesus Ortega on his way to what he allegedly thought was a meeting with a 13-year-old girl.

Ortega works in the internet technology department of the Santa Rita School District.

On July 6, the girl's mother contacted police about some inappropriate email messages allegedly from Ortega that she found in her daughter's email account, according to police.

The girl's family allowed a detective to pose as the girl via her email account and over the course of a few days, Ortega repeatedly emailed the detective.

Eventually the conversations allegedly turned sexual, police said.

On Thursday, Ortega allegedly set up a meeting with the detective, who he thought was the girl, in order to have sex, according to police.

He was arrested on several counts of annoying or molesting a child, distributing obscene material, sending harmful matter to seduce a minor, communicating with a minor to commit offenses and abnormal sexual interest in children, police said.

Police are asking anyone who might have information about any other minors with whom Ortega might have had inappropriate contact to contact Detective Jared Siverston at (831) 758-7132 or jareds@ci.salinas.ca.us. Anonymous tips can be called in to (831) 775-4222.

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