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Posted on: August 11, 2022

Arrest for Lewd Acts on a Child

Police Press Release

Murrieta, CA – In December 2021, the Murrieta Police Department began investigating the possible sexual abuse of a minor by a family member after the abuse was reported to the Riverside County Department of Public Social Services. Since the alleged crimes took place in Murrieta, the case was forwarded to the Murrieta Police Department for investigation. The sexual assaults took place from 2019 to 2020 when the juvenile lived at a residence in Murrieta with the family member.

As a result of the investigation, the Riverside County District Attorney’s (DA’s) Office filed a criminal complaint and a Riverside Superior Court judge issued an arrest warrant in January of 2022 for Jesus Zavala, 80 years old, of Chula Vista, for multiple counts of Lewd Acts on a Child, 288(a)PC, with a $3,000,000.00 bail. Prior to his arrest, Zavala fled to Mexico where he remained and avoided capture. In an attempt to locate and arrest Zavala, the assistance of the Riverside County Gang Impact Team was requested. The Murrieta Police Department currently has a full-time detective assigned to the Gang Impact Team.

Zavala was detained and arrested on August 10, 2022, when he attempted to reenter the United States at the Tecate border crossing. Members of the Gang Impact Team took custody of Zavala and transported him back to Murrieta for booking on the felony charges.

Anyone with information regarding Zavala is asked to contact Detective Travis Shows at 951-461-6340 or Sergeant Miguel Garcia at 951-461-6362.

The Gang Impact Team is supervised by the DA’s Bureau of Investigation. The team is comprised of investigators from the DA’s Office and members of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Marshals Service, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Special Services Unit, and the Cathedral City, Desert Hot Springs, Beaumont, Banning, Hemet, Corona, Murrieta, and Riverside police departments.

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