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Aliso Viejo caregiver arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting client

June 19, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
An Aliso Viejo man is in custody for allegedly sexually assaulting one of his clients -- a 66-year-old woman from Laguna Woods.

Orange County detectives arrested 62-year-old Robert Ligayo Monday night after the woman called deputies. He was later charged with one felony count of sexual penetration by foreign object by force.

Ligayo appeared in court Wednesday and entered a not guilty plea to the sexual abuse charge. Prosecutors allege the defendant worked for a company called Salus Home Care. The woman hired him through an agency to care for her and her husband.

"Our victim is wheelchair-bound and also bed-ridden most of the time, so he's an in-home caregiver. He assaulted her sexually," said Orange County Sheriff's Lt. Mike Gavin.

The woman says Ligayo sexually abused her for six months. Investigators say he allegedly admitted to sexually assaulting her, but Ligayo's family members who went to court say the allegations are not true.

"He's a good father. He's a good provider," said Ligayo's daughter Maria Ligayo. "He's a good husband, strong family ties. We love him."

"I haven't even seen the police reports yet," said defense attorney Dennis O'Connell. "They are very adamant that they believe in his innocence. They're 100 percent supportive of him."

Investigators say Ligayo, a licensed caregiver since 2001, has worked for several companies in south Orange County. He has no prior criminal history, and his wife says his previous clients loved him.

"He represents the company that he's a good caregiver," said Victoria Ligayo.

Ligayo remains in the Orange County Jail. His family hopes to have his $100,000 bail reduced at his next court hearing on June 26.

"Our big concern is that there might be some other victims out there. This was a long-term abuse to somebody who is not necessarily able to protect themselves," said Lt. Gavin.

Anyone with information on possible additional victims was asked to contact Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS.


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