Ex-San Jose community worker accused of sexually assaulting children

A former San Jose community worker has been arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting minors over several years, police said.

Gilberto Nevarez, 33, an ex-community activity worker for the city, was booked on March 22 on multiple counts of sexual assault of children from 6 to 13 years old, police said.

They were not specific about the time frame or the genders of the children. 

Police were tipped off about Nevarez after a "juvenile survivor" came forward about the abuse on March 21. Police said they discovered that there were other victims. 

"On March 21, the San Jose Police Department received reports of a juvenile survivor being sexually assaulted by the suspect for several years…He is no longer employed by the city," said officials.

"We are deeply saddened and concerned by this recent news and extend our sympathies to the survivors and their families," the San Jose Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Department said in a statement.

Court documents show the alleged sexual abuse began as early as July 2013.

"It’s really important that the victims come forward and speak to the police and tell their story, and that the police do a full investigation…because there’s strength in numbers. And the more that come forward, the more likely he’ll be held fully accountable," said Lauren Cerri, a child sexual abuse attorney.

According to investigators, the crimes allegedly committed by Nevarez were not connected to his work, and took place in private residences.

The city says Nevarez was fingerprinted and checked against a national database with no issues. He’s now in the main Santa Clara County jail on multiple charges of sexual assault of minors which have sentences ranging from 15 years to life. 

Efforts to determine whether Nevarez had an attorney were not immediately successful.