San Mateo County correctional officer convicted of molesting child he used to babysit

FILE IMAGE - Cells inside the Suffolk County Correctional Jail Facility in Riverhead, New York on Jan. 16, 2019. (Photo by J. Conrad Williams Jr./Newsday RM via Getty Images)

A former San Mateo County Sheriff's Office jail correctional officer has been convicted of committing lewd acts on a child he used to babysit, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Joel Olazabal Gudino, 30, who started his employment with the Sheriff's Office in 2016, was accused of molesting the 9-year-old girl between 2012 and 2015. He was 19 at the time and a neighbor and friend to the victim's family, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

In December 2017, Olazabal Gudino also sent the victim various Snapchat messages that were sexual in nature, prosecutors said.


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After 11 days of trial, a San Mateo County Superior Court jury found him guilty of two counts of lewd acts on a child and one count of contacting a minor to solicit lewd acts, but acquitted him of two other lewd act charges.

Olazabal Gudino was remanded into custody on no bail status and is set to return to court Thursday to set a sentencing date.

His defense attorney Paula Canny vigorously denied the allegations against her client and plans to appeal the conviction.

"Wrongful conviction happens a lot more than people realize," Canny said. "Just because a jury finds a person guilty doesn't make it true, so in my opinion the jury is wrong."

She said, "I feel bad for the alleged victim and her family, I have a lot of compassion, but he didn't do this, no matter what she now says some 10 years later."