TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A man was arrested after catfishing a minor and allegedly forcing her to engage in sexual acts early Tuesday morning, according to the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies say around 4:30 a.m. they responded to a home in Dinuba for a call about a possible child molestation.
Upon arrival, authorities learned that a grandmother had found a man later identified as 26-year-old Genaro Almanza Morales III of Shafter in her 12-year-old grandaughter’s bedroom.
While investigating detectives say the juvenile victim had met Morales online where he portrayed himself to be a 14 to 16-year-old teen. He had driven to the victim’s home and forced her to engage in sexual acts with him.
Morales fled the area but was found at a gas station in Shafter by the Sheriff’s County Apprehension Team Tracking Criminals in Hiding (CATTCH) Team.
Deputies say Morales was taken into custody without incident and was booked under suspicion of eight counts of child molestation.
The investigation is still active and anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office at (559) 733-6218.