ACADIANA PARISH, Louisiana – A man wanted for child sexual abuse in California was arrested in Louisiana as he was traveling through the state with four children who were reported missing.
Joseph F. Moreno, 37, of Dos Palos, California, was wanted in the state for sexually assaulting a child. Moreno was believed to be on the road with 37-year-old Penny L. Rascon and her four children who were listed as missing out of California.
After broadcasting Moreno’s wanted person information to law enforcement in the region, two state troopers quickly spotted him at a convenience store and made an arrest.
Police then located Rascon and her four children, ages 4, 6, 7 and 8 years old, in a vehicle in the far corner of a parking lot near several 18-wheelers. Rascon was arrested and her children were taken into protective custody.
Troopers were able to tell the children were hungry and had not bathed in several days, prompting them to immediately purchase food and drinks for all four children before transporting them to state police headquarters.
While at police headquarters, the children were given blankets, pillows and toys to play with. State police communications specialists and several on duty officers cared for and visited with the children to make them feel comfortable and safe.
“This is an excellent example of Troopers working hand in hand with law enforcement across the nation to help those in need,” State Police Superintendent Colonel Mike Edmonson said in a statement. “The successful recovery of these four children is proof that law enforcement partnerships work. Troopers will continue to work with our established partners to seek out and bring to justice those who wish to harm our children.”
Moreno and Rascon were booked at the Acadia Parish Sheriff’s Office. Moreno was charged on an active arrest warrant from California for 3 counts of Lewd and Lascivious Acts on a Child under 14. Rascon faced Child Abduction allegations. Both are awaiting relocation back to California. The four children were released to Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services personnel.
John Binder is a contributor for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.