A 29-year-old Atwater man was behind bars Monday in Merced County, accused of molesting four young family members, according to the Atwater Police Department.
Gavin J. King was arrested Friday on suspicion of committing lewd acts on children under the age of 14. He was still in custody Monday at the John Latorraca Correctional Facility with bail set at $600,000, according to Merced County Sheriff’s Department records.
Atwater police said investigators believe King molested four children in his family, an 11-year-old, a 7-year-old and two 9-year-olds, possibly for several years.
“We believe this was an ongoing issue for some time,” Lt. Samuel Joseph said. “The children all told their mother of the suspect’s actions after one of the children decided to disclose the abuse that was occurring.”
Police said the mother of the victim confronted King about the alleged abuse about Sept. 30 and King left the area. He was arrested about 3:30 p.m. Friday in the 2000 block of Avenue Two in Atwater, according to booking records.
The exact time frame for the alleged abuse was unclear Monday. Police said they were still investigating the case.
Prosecutors with the Merced County District Attorney’s Office on Monday were still waiting for the police reports and no charges had been filed.
According to Merced Superior Court records, King’s criminal record includes convictions for misdemeanor forgery, felony drug possession and pleading guilty in 2006 to being a felon in possession of a firearm.