A 32-year-old Santa Ana man was charged Tuesday with sexually assaulting three underage girls who are his relatives over a period of years starting in 2002.

Jose Manuel Escobar faces six counts of committing lewd acts on a minor younger than 14 and two counts of lewd acts on a minor, along with sentence- enhancing allegations of having more than one victim and molesting multiple children.

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Escobar is accused of molesting all three girls more than once, according to the criminal complaint. The allegations date back to December 2002, according to court records.

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Messages left with the prosecutor on the case, Mena Guirguis, were not immediately returned. Santa Ana police were also not immediately available for comment.

Escobar is related to the three victims, Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said, but no details were released to protect their identities.

One of the victims said she was first molested by the defendant when she was 5, Bertagna said. The two other girls said they were molested when they were 14 or 15, Bertagna alleged. It’s not clear how old the victims are now.

Messages left with the prosecutor on the case, Mena Guirguis, were not immediately returned.

Escobar, who listed his occupation as a car detailer, was being held without bail.
–City News Service 

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