WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) – One of the two men arrested Tuesday for trying to jump-start a bounty hunter business in Rhode Island, is a level III sex offender with a lengthy rap-sheet.
Ronald Cervantes, 39 of Woonsocket, was charged Tuesday with breaking and entering and assault after police say he and another man forced their way into the apartment of an 18 year-old woman. The woman, Rebecca Ball, had an outstanding warrant out of Cumberland.
According to the Rhode Island Parole Board, Cervantes is a registered level III sex offender, deemed “most likely to re-offend.” Which, according to court documents, is exactly what he did in 2001.
Cervantes was charged with third degree sexual assault in 1991 and then charged again with first degree sexual assault in 2001. The Parole Board says the victims were 14 and 16 year-old girls.
According to Rhode Island General Laws , bounty hunters must be registered as private detectives with their city or town and must notify the chief of police if they are operating in their town. The law also states a person cannot be a private detective if they have been convicted of a felony within the last 10 years.
The law states private detectives are not allowed to forcibly enter a dwelling without a police escort. Investigators say Cervantes and Johnson did just that, then drove Ball to the Cumberland police and dropped her off. After Ball made bail on her outstanding simple assault charge, she turned around and filed a complaint against her apprehenders with the Woonsocket Police Department.
Cervantes and Johnson told authorities they were trying to establish a business called “New England Bounty Hunters.” Target 12 checked with the Rhode Island Secretary of State’s office and discovered that business name is not registered with the state.
The pair told police they purchased badges and bounty hunter cards from a website for $235.
Cervantes and Johnson turned themselves into police June 9th. They were both charged with simple assault and battery and breaking into a dwelling house without consent.
Johnson was released. Cervantes is being held as a probation violator.