A Scottsdale library aide arrested on Monday is accused of abusing and molesting children and possessing child pornography, police records show.
Gabriel Joseph Lucero, 34, turned himself in to authorities at his father’s house in Tempe after learning about a warrant for his arrest, according to police documents.
Lucero was indicted Sept. 22 and a warrant was issued for his arrest on 15 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, two counts of aggravated assault on a minor, two counts of child molestation and one count of attempted sexual abuse, according to court records.
Lucero’s indictment resulted from a two-year investigation by the Phoenix Police Department and an investigation by the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to a police statement.
Police began investigating the case after the first accuser told a school counselor that she had been molested when she was 10, the statement said. The second accuser came forward several months after the investigation began.
At the same time, Lucero was the target of a federal investigation into child pornography, and the agencies involved worked with Phoenix police on the case, the statement said.
The two children, whom the records identify as “victim a” and “victim b,” reportedly were molested between 2005 and 2012. Police said that in 2011, Lucero also received or shared multiple items of child pornography, which included “any visual depiction in which a minor under (15) years of age is engaged in exploitive exhibition or other sexual conduct,” according to court documents.
Lucero had been employed by at least two Valley school districts, but there was no evidence he victimized any students, the statement said.
Police said Lucero was working for a Scottsdale school when he was arrested. However, the city of Scottsdale released a statement on Tuesday saying that Lucero was a library aide employed by the city. Officer James Holmes, spokesman for the Phoenix Police Department, said he was not sure which was correct.
The city’s statement said the incidents occurred before Lucero was hired by the city as a library aide in 2013.
Lucero’s duties as a library aide did not include unsupervised contact with children, according to the city’s statement.
City officials have placed Lucero on unpaid administrative leave, the statement said.