Mark Joseph West, 25, was arrested July 15 and charged with two felony counts of exhibiting and soliciting lewd materials from a minor and four misdemeanor counts of molestation. The recreation leader for the city of San Jose has been placed on paid leave pending the investigation.
This is the second local public agency employee to be charged in a molestation case in the last few months. In May, Edgar Covarrubias-Padilla, a summer camp worker for the Santa Clara County office of Education, was accused of possessing child pornography and molesting at least one minor.
On his LinkedIn profile, West said he has worked on and off for the city of San Jose for 11 years. As a staff assistant for Christmas in the Park, he said, he previously managed high school and college volunteers. In his current role as a rec leader he has worked in various community centers. His Facebook page also lists the East Valley Pentecostal Church as a past employer.
Authorities closed in on West after receiving a call about a “suspicious circumstance.” According to the San Jose Police Department, West met his victim on social media in January this year and struck up a relationship that led to the pair exchanging lewd photos and texts.
SJPD asks anyone with information about the case to call Detective Daniel Krauss at 408.277.4102. Callers who want to remain anonymous can reach Crime Stoppers at 408.947.7867 or submit a tip online.
People who provide details that lead to the suspect’s conviction may qualify for a cash reward.
West was booked into the Santa Clara County Jail with a $90,000 bail. His arraignment has been set for 9am Thursday.