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Former SoCal teacher convicted of sex with 8-year-old girls

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Posted at 4:44 PM, Nov 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-18 20:43:45-05
SANTA ANA (CNS) - A former Santa Ana Unified School District substitute teacher who went to the Philippines to have sex with two girls and produce videos of the criminal behavior is facing up to 190 years in federal prison when sentenced Feb. 27.
 
Robert Ruben Ornelas, 65, of Santa Ana, was convicted Thursday of two counts each of engaging in sexual conduct in a foreign place and possessing child pornography and three counts of producing child pornography, according to U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Thom Mrozek.
 
Ornelas traveled to the Philippines multiple times and was convicted in connection with trips he took in 2006, 2008 and 2012, Mrozek said. The girls he sexually assaulted were as young as 8, according to the evidence presented at trial.
 
Ornelas videotaped molestation of the victims and returned home with them, Mrozek said.
 
Ornelas was a substitute teacher in the Santa Ana Unified School District from 1992 to 2003, and coached a local girls' softball team, according to the FBI.
 
Authorities began investigating him in 2013, when they received a tip he had a large quantity of child pornography, Mrozek said.
 
Ornelas was charged in state court that year with sexually assaulting a female relative over a six-year period, starting when she was 5. Orange County prosecutors said then that the case would probably be turned over to the federal government because he would face more time behind bars.