Concord police: Dental assistant molested, taped young patients
CONCORD -- Police said Thursday that a 24-year-old dental assistant has been arrested and is facing charges for allegedly touching a young female patient and photographing her while she was sedated.
Alejandro Saro, 24, of Antioch, was being held in lieu of $8.1 million bail in the Martinez County jail in connection with the charges, police said.
Police launched their investigation on April 2 after a young girl being treated at La Clinica Moument, located at 2000 SIerra Road in Concord, told a relative the man had touched and photographed her vagina while she was in the clinic for a dental visit. The relative called police, which helped give police the break they needed to make the arrest.
"It came about because of the courage of a young 8-year-old girl who told a relative," Concord police Cpl. Christopher Blakely said. Saro "would bring these children, who were already scared to go to the dentist, into the dental office, into an exam room (and) sedate them.
"He would pull their pants down, touch them and video tape it," Blakely said. "It's very disturbing."
Investigators said Saro started working at the clinic in March, 2015 and was a dental assistant. He also worked at Patino Orthodontics and Western Dental, both in Concord, and Western Dental in Antioch.
Evidence suggests that there could be more victims who were touched inappropriately and video taped while under the influence of medical gas, according to the police statement. That evidence apparently includes a cell phone Saro had that contained several videos of the incidents.
"There are key pieces of evidence to suggest there is possibly multiple victims in this case," Blakely said. "And (that) it wasn't just the one victim that came forward."
According to report in the Contra Costa Times, Saro was arraigned Thursday morning in Contra Costa Superior Court, but he did not enter a plea. His arraignment was scheduled for later this month, the paper reported.
A spokeswoman for the health center, which provides medical and dental services to low-income residents, told the newspaper that the clinic is cooperating with police but declined further comment, citing privacy concerns.
La Clinica Monument Issued a statement saying it is cooperating with authorities.
The clinic asked patients with concerns to contact them. A spokeswoman said the 8-year-old girl was not sedated, and that it is legal for a dental technician to be alone in an exam room with a minor.
"For the privacy of our patients and all concerned, we cannot comment further," says Arine Terlet, the clinic's dental director.
Anyone with information about the case was asked to call police at 925-603-5836.
KTVU reporter Tom Vacar contributed to this report.