Their young victims were scared, say police, but now they’re coming forward

Local News

TULARE, California (KSEE) – Two California correctional officers are behind bars after allegations of child molestation dating back to the 1990s.

The Tulare Police Department said 48-year-old Steven Arey and 56-year-old Kevin Sandoval both worked for the North Kern State Prison and were youth pastors the time of the crime. The victims are male and female, ranging from 8 to 17 years old.

“All these years and they never talked about it,” said Hinojosa. “They felt like it was embarrassing.”

Hinojosa said Arey molested an 8 to 9-year-old child multiple times while Arey was a youth pastor at a church in Visalia. The church is no longer operating.

Hinojosa said since the one victim has come forward, other people have also come forward saying Arey molested them as well.

“They just don’t say anything because they are scared,” said Hinojosa. “We feel bad for them and we will know that. We will speak on their behalf at this point.”

Arey faces 15 counts of child molestation.

According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), Arey has been placed on administrative leave at Sierra Conservation Center where he currently works.

Tulare Police also arrested retired correctional officer Kevin Sandoval. The 56-year-old is facing five counts of molestation. It is alleged that the crimes also took place at the same church in Visalia at around the same time.

CDCR said Sandoval worked at the North Kern State Prison from 1993-2003 before working at the Folsom State Prison where he retired in 2013.

Hinojosa said the two knew each other but it is unclear right now in the investigation if they knew the alleged sex crimes the other committed.

“Anytime it involves law enforcement it is concerning,” said Hinojosa. “It is embarrassing at times.”

Investigators believe there are more victims and ask anyone with information to come forward.

For local, national, and breaking news, and to get weather alerts, download our FREE mobile app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

CBS47 On Your Side

Do you have a problem that you need help solving? Contact CBS47 and let us be On Your Side.

Phone: 559-761-0383

Images from Armenia

Small patients in Armenia
Yerevan by night.
Dr. Jeff Thomas delivers.
Dr. Jeff Thomas delivers in Gyumri.
Doctors unpack medical supplies from The Central Valley.
Fresno Medical Mission at work.
Medical Supplies being unloaded.
Fresno Medical Mission at the ready.
KSEE24 crew witnesses the miracle of life in Gyumri, Armenia.
Life saving work of Central Valley surgeons in Armenia.
Ribbon cutting on new surgical center in Ashtarak Armenia. Fresno donors made this dream come true.
KSEE24 on assignment with the Fresno Medical Mission
Honorary Consulate to Armenia Berj Apkarian explains the crisis facing one hospital.
KSEE24's Stefani Booroojian and Kevin Mahan at the meeting with President Bako Sahakyan.
Medical Meeting in Artsakh.
The President of Artsakh meets with the Fresno Medical Mission.
Learning modern medicine techniques with the Fresno Medical Mission in surgery.
Leaning in for a look. Dr. Brien Tonkinson holds class and helps a patient in Armenia.
Fresno Medical Mission cares on one of the smallest patients in the region. Six-year old Yanna receives life-changing better breathing surgery.