Sexual assault of 11-YO allegedly discovered in Snapchat messages

Suspect Francisco Cortes. PHOTO: Santa Rosa P.D. 

SANTA ROSA (BCN)-- A man initially arrested on suspicion of peeping into the home of an 11-year-old girl was subsequently arrested on suspicion of sexual assault after her father found they had exchanged sexual messages on Snapchat, according to Santa Rosa police.

Officers initially responded to the girl's home at 2:30 a.m. on Dec. 21 after her father called police to report a man in his backyard with a flashlight, looking into the home.

Officers allegedly found Francisco Aparicio Cortes driving a vehicle with the headlights off, then towed the vehicle and arrested him on suspicion of peeping, police said.

Cortes has been living in Santa Rosa, but claimed to be a Clearlake resident at the time of his arrest. He also provided different dates of birth during different interactions with law enforcement officers, and is either 24 or 28 years old, according to police.

The next day, on Dec. 22, the victim's father went to investigators with more information, indicating that his daughter may have been sexually assaulted.

The man said he found a Snapchat account on a family member's cellphone that had been used to exchange thousands of messages between the suspect and his underage daughter. Some of the messages were sexual in nature, according to investigators.

On Friday, Cortes went to the Police Department to recover his vehicle and the detective investigating the case arrested him on suspicion of aggravated sexual assault of a minor. He was booked into Sonoma County Jail on $1 million bail, police said.