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Employee of Camarillo assisted living center charged with sexually assaulting 2 elderly residents

Joel Gonzales, 24, of Camarillo
Ventura County Sheriff's Office
Joel Gonzales, 24, of Camarillo

VENTURA, Calif. - A Camarillo man who worked at an assisted living facility has been charged with sexually assaulting two elderly residents at the facility.

Joel Gonzales, 24, was arrested in January, accused of sexually assaulting two elderly women at the Royal Gardens assisted living center in Camarillo.

On Thursday, the Ventura County District Attorney's Office announced Gonzales had been formally charged with assault with intent to commit rape, kidnapping and lewd acts upon a dependent person.

Gonzales was arrested on Jan. 6 at the Ventura County Jail where he was already in custody for attempted murder after he was accused of strangling a 6-year-old girl in October.

Detectives investigating the attack on the young girl interviewed the administrators at the Royal Gardens facility. The administrators told investigators that Gonzales resigned abruptly, but said there was no previous history of unusual behavior.

But several weeks later, a concerned family member contacted Camarillo police after their elderly family member reported she was sexually assaulted at the facility. As the investigation continued, another elderly woman came forward and accused the man of sexual assault.

Investigators found that on-duty facility staff reported both crimes to the facility's administration but administrators did not report the crimes to law enforcement or adult protective services as required by law. The Executive Director and the Resident Care Supervisor of The Royal Gardens care facility were arrested on misdemeanor violations and were removed from the facility by the California Department of Social Services.

Gonzales appeared in court on Thursday and pleaded not guilty to both the sexual assaults and the attempted murder charges.

He is due back in court in April and is currently being held in the Ventura County Jail without bail.

Article Topic Follows: Crime & Courts

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Travis Schlepp

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