Man arrested for alleged sexual abuse of child younger than 10

Faces 13 felony counts, held on $6 million bail

THERMAL, Calif.- - A man was arrested over the weekend for alleged continuous sexual abuse of a child under the age of 10.

Alfonso Gonzalez Meraz, 31, was arrested Friday morning on Lawrence Drive in Thermal, jail records reveal. 

A Riverside County Sheriff's Department spokesperson told News Channel 3 the Thermal Sheriff's Station first received word of the crime in March 2019. The investigation revealed the juvenile was victimized for several years and knew Meraz. 

Due to the severity of the crimes, and the involvement of a juvenile, the Riverside County Sheriffs Department is releasing few details on this incident at this time.

According to jail records, Meraz remains booked in Indio Jail on 13 felony charges, which includes continuous sexual abuse of a child, charges of kidnapping to commit robbery, and 4 counts of lewd acts with a child under 14, 4 counts of sodomy with a child under 10 years old, and 2 counts of oral copulation with a child under 10 years old .

Meraz pleaded not guilty to all charges on Tuesday and had his bail raised from $1 million to $6 million.

Authorities did not specify whether there might be any other victims. If you have any additional information, you can contact the Thermal Sheriff's Station at 760-863-8990.

Stay with KESQ News Channel 3 for continuing coverage.

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