Jose Guadalupe Jimenez is charged with two felony counts of lewd acts upon a child, a felony count of aggravated sexual assault of a child and a felony count of forcible lewd act on a child. The 41-year-old Anaheim man faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
Police say Jimenez's job as a clown gave him access to children on a regular basis. He performed for years as a clown named "El Tin Larin," after a type of cookie, even holding events at his own home in Anaheim.
Monday, the Orange County district attorney charged Jimenez with two felony counts of lewd acts upon a child under 14, one felony count of aggravated sexual assault of a child and one felony count of forcible lewd act on a child under 14.
Police said Jimenez was dressed as a clown when he kidnapped a 12-year-old girl outside a Taco Bell restaurant in Fullerton nine years ago. He is accused of driving her to a school parking lot and raping her. He then allegedly took the girl to a hotel, where she was able to escape.
Investigators collected the suspect's DNA, but the case went cold, until Jimenez was arrested in 2010 on another charge. He pleaded not guilty to striking a child, a relative of his. His DNA was collected, which linked him to the 2002 rape case.
Police arrested Jimenez in Newport Beach on Friday and seized dozens of costumes, masks and a truck used to travel to children's parties from his home.
Neighbors say young children were at his home all the time.
"He did have events at his house. He put up these big balloon-type things for the kids to jump in his yard and I think he did it up and down the streets at different homes," said Steve, a neighbor.
"Having raised my children in this neighborhood and having hired people to do the clown thing when the children were small, it's a little scary," Steve added.
Authorities and community members are concerned that there may be more victims. If you have any information, you're urged to contact Fullerton Police at (714) 738-5327.
Jimenez was held on $1 million bail. His arraignment was rescheduled for April 22.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.