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CrimeSan Mateo County correctional officer charged with molesting young girl

22:27  20 may  2019
22:27  20 may  2019 Source:   sfchronicle.com

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San Mateo County correctional officer charged with molesting young girl© Yellow Dog Productions / Getty Image File photo of courtroom gavel.~~

A San Mateo County correctional officer is accused of molesting a little girl over the course of several years, authorities said Monday.

Joel Olazabalgudino, 25, appeared in a Redwood City courtroom Friday on three counts of lewd acts with a minor, one count of a lewd act on a minor by force and one count of contacting a minor to commit a felony, according to the San Mateo County district attorney’s office.

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Prosecutors alleged Olazabalgudino’s abuse of the girl began in 2012, before he joined the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office. Olazabalgudino, who lives in San Mateo, was a neighbor and family friend who used to babysit the 8-year-old victim and her younger brother, officials said.

Olazabalgudino allegedly fondled and digitally penetrated the 8-year-old on four separate occasions between 2012 and 2015, according to court records.

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“When those we trust engage in criminal conduct — and that includes politicians, elected officials or government employees — when they violate that trust, it is more egregious than anyone else doing it, because we trust them to follow the law,” District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Olazabalgudino was employed as a San Mateo County correctional officer when he allegedly sent sexual Snapchat messages to the victim in 2017, according to court records.

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He was hired in August 2016 and worked at both San Mateo County jail facilities, sheriff’s spokeswoman Rosemerry Blankswade said.

“The Sheriff’s Office is aware of and disturbed by the criminal charges,” she said.

Olazabalgudino was placed on administrative leave following the investigation. Prosecutors said he confessed to the abuse in a taped phone call.

A no-contact order between Olazabalgudino and the minor was issued Friday, according to court records.

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His attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Olazabalgudino is due in court Tuesday for bail review and a plea hearing, according to court records.

Gwendolyn Wu is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @gwendolynawu

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