Russell Bernardino, 43, stood quietly in a holding cell in the courtroom before his arraignment was postponed until next month. His bail is set at $100,000.
The licensed massage therapist and home health care provider is facing multiple sexual assault charges including the alleged rape of a 77-year-old woman.
Sheriff's deputies say the investigation began in March 2018, after a 77-year-old woman accused Bernardino of the crime while he was working as her caregiver, employed by West Coast Care.
Investigators say they ran into hurdles filing that case and gathering evidence. Then in April and June of this year, two more women accused him of sexual assault while he gave them massages.
"Clients of his at Massage Envy that were getting massages done and at some point during both those events, he committed some sort of sexual assault," said Sgt. Joses Walehwa with the Orange County Sheriff's Department.
Massage Envy and West Coast Care have not responded to our requests for comment.
Bernardino faces charges of rape, elder sexual abuse, oral copulation and sexual battery.
Deputies fear his work as a masseuse and caretaker may mean there are more potential victims.
"One of our biggest concerns is that he had access to additional clients," Walehwa said. "So that's a big reason we're out here today is we're trying to get the information, get his picture out."
#OCSDPIO: OCSD Special Victims detail arrested a 43-year-old man on suspicion of rape, elder sexual abuse, oral copulation and sexual battery. Russell Bernardino was arrested at approx 8 a.m. at his residence in Mission Viejo. He is currently in custody with bail set at $100,000. pic.twitter.com/cTMWAPsdv3— OC Sheriff, CA (@OCSheriff) July 17, 2019
Anyone with information regarding possible additional victims or with information they believe may assist the investigation is asked to contact the #OCSD at 714-647-7419, or submit an anonymous tip to OC Crime Stoppers at 855-TIP-OCCS (855-847-6227) or at https://t.co/qeZ6ynciVQ.— OC Sheriff, CA (@OCSheriff) July 17, 2019