School photographer arrested on suspicion of child molestation, Ontario police say

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Thursday, December 29, 2022
ABC7 Eyewitness News
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ABC7 Eyewitness News

ONTARIO, Calif. (KABC) -- Ontario police say they arrested a 72-year-old man in connection with numerous child molestation cases that span several decades.

Police took Philbert Hernandez into custody on Tuesday after identifying him as a person of interest in May, according to a news release.

The investigation involved several child molestation cases that occurred at multiple residences in Ontario, the Ontario Police Department said in the statement.

"This initial investigation led to the identification of additional victims and incidents," the statement said. "At the time of the assaults, Hernandez was employed as a photographer for numerous photography firms across Southern California. These firms were contracted by schools throughout his years of employment and he was the assigned photographer."

Ontario police say the alleged victims were children Hernandez came into contact with through his personal life and were not students at the schools.

Hernandez was being held on $350,000 bail and was scheduled to appear in court Thursday, authorities said.

Anyone with information about the case is urged to call Ontario police Detective Graeme Awde at (909) 408-1166, Detective Albert Alvarado at (909) 408-1607, or the Ontario Police Department at (909) 986-6711.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify how the suspect came into contact with the alleged victims.