Mother arrested for death of toddler
Ventura police have arrested 27-year-old Jessica Navarro of Ventura on suspicion in the death of her 22-month-old; and on Friday, July 1, the District Attorney charged her with a felony count of assault on a child resulting in death.
On Wednesday, June 27, police and the Ventura City Fire Department responded to a report of a baby falling from a crib on Bell Way in West Ventura. The boy was taken to the Ventura County Medical Center and pronounced dead upon arrival.
The Ventura Police Department Major Crimes Unit began an investigation and determined that the child’s mother, Navarro, had physically assaulted the child and, as a result, was responsible for his death. Navarro has been booked into county jail, where she remains on $500,000 bail, on suspicion of assault on a child causing death, said police.
The boy was the subject of an investigation by Child Protective Services but had returned to his mother’s home. Navarro will be arraigned on July 27. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison.
Former library financial officer given prison sentence
You might get kicked out of a library for eating, but you’ll be sent to prison for cooking the books, as has been learned from the sentencing of a former Santa Paula library employee for embezzlement.
Tammy Jean Ferguson, formerly the Santa Paula Blanchard Community Library’s financial officer, was sentenced last week to a prison term of four years and ordered to pay $499,254 in restitution after pleading guilty to misappropriation of public funds and falsifying public accounts, both felonies. Ferguson also admitted to a special allegation of taking over $200,000 from the library.
Ferguson was employed by the library from 1993 to May 2013. Investigators say that beginning in 2006 Ferguson started using the library’s credit card for personal purchases, transferring money from the library’s accounts to her own and withdrawing funds from ATMs using the library’s debit cards.
In all, Ferguson was accused of embezzling $499,254 from the library. Up to 90 percent of the library’s funding comes from tax revenue.
The library has recovered $435,000 of its losses from insurance. Because of the conviction, Ferguson will be unable to hold public office again in the state.
Dating site extortion ends in jail sentence
A Simi Valley man is feeling the sting of a jail sentence rather than that of Cupid’s arrow after extorting a woman he met on an online dating site.
District Attorney Gregory D. Totten’s office says that Alex Scott Roberts, 20, pleaded guilty to felony attempted extortion and misdemeanor unauthorized distribution of sexual images relating to an encounter he had on the dating site and app OK Cupid.
In August of 2015, Roberts used false photos of himself that “misrepresented his physical stature” to lure a woman he had contacted on the dating site into sharing intimate photos. The woman shared non-nude but “revealing” photos to Roberts, who then demanded fully nude images.
After the victim refused, Roberts posted the photos online where the victim’s family and friends could see them, according to investigators from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office and the Southern California High Tech Taskforce.
Roberts initially claimed that his account had been hacked, but later changed his mind and pleaded guilty. On Friday, June 24, Totten’s office announced that Roberts had been sentenced to 364 days in county jail and ordered to attend sex offender counseling as well as pay over $2,500 in fines and fees.
Fillmore “Peeping Tom” arrested
Late in the evening of June 18 in the city of Fillmore, a Ventura County Sheriff’s deputy responded to a disturbance on the 500 block of Central Avenue, where a resident had found a man peeking into the window of a bathroom wherein a juvenile had been showering.
After being confronted, the suspect ran, but was located by deputies after a search of the area. Police arrested 18-year-old Adrian Banales and charged him with “peeking.” Banales was later booked into the Ventura County Pre-Trial Detention Facility with bail set at $5,000.
The Fillmore Police Department says that similar incidents have occurred in the city in recent memory and has urged residents to contact the Department with any information related to the crimes. Anonymous tips can be made by calling 800-222-TIPS.