SANTA ANA – Police on Friday morning arrested a man suspected of taking part in lewd acts with a 13-year-old girl he is accused of befriending on Facebook, as investigators search for other possible victims.
Manuel Arevalo Parada, 42, was arrested on suspicion of lewd acts with a minor after he met with the girl multiple times during a three to four month period, police said.
Officers were called Thursday to Carr Intermediate School to investigate a report of abuse of a student. During interviews with the girl, officers and investigators learned of her relationship with Parada, Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said.
Police believe Parada “friended” the girl on Facebook when she was 12, telling her he was in his mid-20s. They allege that he first met her in person four months ago when he showed up at a family function and since then had met with her several other times and had been driving her to school twice a week.
The girl’s family wasn’t aware of the relationship, Bertagna said. Police allege that the girl thought of Parada as her boyfriend.
“Parents need to know who their kids are communicating with on the Internet,” Bertagna said. “This guy was a predator.”
Authorities are asking anyone with information or who believes they were a victim to contact Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855-TIP-OCCS.
By SEAN EMERY / ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
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