Jose Trinidad Sauceda – Repeat Sex Offender – Installed camera in girls restroom

  • Conviction
  • Conviction date: 4/3/1992
  • Offender’s age at conviction: 31
  • Victim Age: 8

A 46-year-old man who police said is a registered sex offender was arraigned Thursday on two counts of improper photographing/video recording in a school girls’ restroom.

A San Benito municipal judge set Jose Trinidad Sauceda’s bond at $150,000, or $75,000 for each of two counts.

Sauceda was arrested Wednesday as police were issuing a search warrant at his apartment. Police Lt. Martin Morales said Sauceda admitted to police that he had placed a digital camera in an air conditioning vent at Mid-Valley Academy.

Two students at the school reported that they had seen a camera lens in an air vent.

Sauceda, who became a registered sex offender in March 2005, was working as a technician for Lopez Air Conditioning of Harlingen, police said.

Morales said Sauceda was convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a child in the 1990s. The victim was an 8-year-old girl, Morales said.

The improper photographing/video recording charge is a state jail felony, which can carry a sentence of up to two years.

At his arraignment, Sauceda asked for a court-appointed attorney to represent him.

But the case isn’t wrapped up yet, police said.

While police had a warrant to search Sauceda’s home, they did not have a warrant to search the camera itself, Morales said.

He said he expected the warrant to be issued by next week.

If the camera contains photographs of girls inside the restroom stall, charges against Sauceda would be upgraded, Morales said.

Police said Sauceda visited the school on West Business 77 without a work order. Additionally, Lopez Air Conditioning officials told police they didn’t know Sauceda was going to school.

School officials said the building was rented until last week and didn’t question Sauceda when he arrived to do maintenance work.

According to police reports, school officials were told by two girls that they saw a camera lens above the restroom stall.

Both girls reported to police that they felt they were being watched before noticing the lens, reports state.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”

………Sarah Tofte

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