Riverside man accused of sexually abusing children at his wife's daycare

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Thursday, July 11, 2024 1:20AM
Riverside man accused of sexually abusing children at wife's daycare
Police say within the past three years, Antonio Robles Chavez has sexually abused at least three children, including a 4-year-old girl.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (CNS) -- A preliminary hearing is scheduled later this month for a 65-year-old Riverside man accused of sexually molesting three children at his wife's daycare center.

Antonio Robles Chavez was arrested last week following a Riverside Police Department investigation.

Chavez is charged with two counts of lewd acts on a child under 14 years old, as well as sentence-enhancing allegations of taking advantage of a position of trust and targeting vulnerable victims.

He pleaded not guilty during an arraignment Tuesday before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Gary Polk, who tentatively scheduled a preliminary hearing for July 19 at the Riverside Hall of Justice. The hearing would determine whether there's sufficient evidence to bound the defendant over for trial.

Chavez is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning.

According to Riverside police spokesman Officer Ryan Railsback, the department's Sexual Assault-Child Abuse unit initiated an investigation on July 2 after receiving reports that a girl at Chavez Family Daycare, owned and operated by the defendant's wife, allegedly had been groped.

"Detectives contacted other families that utilize Chavez Family Daycare, located in the (18400 block) of Blue Sky Street,'' Railsback said. "Through their efforts, they determined two other children had also been sexually abused by Chavez within the past three years while attending the daycare, but never disclosed the crimes.''

None of the alleged victims' identities were disclosed.

Chavez was taken into custody without incident on July 3.

The daycare has been licensed by the California Department of Social Services since 2010 and is based at the Chavez family home. Detectives have filed a complaint seeking suspension of operations, according to Railsback.

He said SACA investigators believe there may be other victims, and anyone with information was asked to contact the unit at 951-353-7945.

The defendant has no documented prior felony convictions in Riverside County.

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