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Kentucky man charged with kidnapping and sex assault in Orange County

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Posted at 3:21 PM, Nov 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-22 18:23:21-05

SANTA ANA (CNS) - A man from Kentucky who allegedly abducted his 3-year-old son and the boy's 16-year-old cousin was charged Monday with kidnapping and sex assault. The children were found safe Thursday in Dana Point.

Jacob Francisallen Clare, 35, was charged with a count of kidnapping from outside California, two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, two counts of oral copulation of a minor, a count of sexual penetration by foreign object of a victim younger than 18, and two counts of incest, all felonies.

He is also facing charges related to abducting the 3-year-old, Noah, and the 16-year-old girl, who were the subject of an Amber Alert out of Tennessee before they were found.

Clare, who was being held on $150,000 bail, was scheduled to be arraigned Monday in the jail courtroom in Santa Ana. He was booked Thursday night, according to Orange County sheriff's Sgt. Ryan Anderson.

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The boy's mother, in Gallatin, Tennessee, contacted police on Nov. 7 to report that her ex-boyfriend Clare did not return their son after a planned visitation.

The silver Subaru Legacy Clare was driving was captured on a license plate reader in Arizona, then the vehicle was found abandoned in a parking lot on private property in San Clemente before it was towed on Nov. 13, Anderson said.

Tennessee authorities contacted Orange County sheriff's deputies on Nov. 16 to help track down Clare and the children, Anderson said. The children were reunited with their families on Nov. 18.

According to the Orange County Sheriff's Department, deputies received a tip from a "concerned resident" around 8:50 a.m. Thursday about a boy matching the description of Noah. Responding deputies found the boy and his cousin.

Dana Point resident Julia Bonin told reporters at a news conference that she was taking her son to his sixth-grade classes Thursday morning when she saw three people matching the description of the suspect and the missing children.

Bonin said she follows the sheriff on social media and saw the alerts about the missing children.

"You just have to trust your instincts and gut," she said. "I almost didn't act on it."

She said she spotted them about 8:40 a.m. and called 911 about 10 minutes later.

She had planned to volunteer at her son's school but as she pulled up to the school to let her son out, she said, "I looked at my son and said, `I have to go back and make sure."'

She drove back to the location where she saw them walking, on Pacific Coast Highway near Doheny State Beach, got out of her car and took a photo of them, which she compared to the images from authorities on social media.

She said that when she dialed 911, she was "apologetic" because she thought she might be mistaken. But her suspicions were confirmed minutes later when authorities converged on the beach and took Clare into custody without incident. Sheriff Don Barnes described Clare as "cooperative."

Bonin said the children appeared to be in "good spirits" and that she "sat on the beach, watched the waves; it was a beautiful moment."

"They are both safe and healthy," Barnes said, adding that the custodial parents were headed to California.

Barnes praised Bonin for acting on her hunch, and even more so for not confronting the suspect, but instead waiting for police to respond.

"It's not every day we get on the news and say, `Guess what, we got them,"' he said.