|Theodore Ralph Fernandes|
By Melissa Pinion-Whitt
Prosecutors have charged a Rialto police officer with 20 counts of committing sex acts with a child.
Theodore Ralph Fernandes, 50, of Fontana was booked Tuesday into West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga on suspicion of committing lewd and lascivious acts with a girl.
He was being held in lieu of $2 million bail.
"I am deeply saddened by the news," said Rialto Police Chief Tony Farrar. "My thoughts are with the family during this time. As the chief of police, I can assure the public that whatever the outcome, I will take the appropriate action, doing what is best for the Police Department and the community."
Fontana police began investigating the case in early February after the alleged victim reported the alleged crimes. Investigators spent several months completing the case due to its complexity, police said.
"She's an adult now," said Fontana police Sgt. Billy Green of the alleged victim. "She was a juvenile when the crimes were alleged to have occurred."
A complaint filed by the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office says the alleged victim was 14 when the alleged crimes began.
The crimes were committed between September 2002 and September 2006, according to the complaint.
Prosecutors charged Fernandes on Monday with numerous sex crimes, including lewd and lascivious acts with a child and unlawful sex with a child.
Fernandes was arrested at the Fontana Police Department on Tuesday.
Farrar said Fernandes was hired by the Rialto Police Department in 1995 and most recently worked as a motorcycle officer in the traffic division.
"Immediately upon being notified of the investigation by the Fontana Police Department, Officer Fernandes was placed on (paid) administrative leave, which is standard procedure," Farrar said.
The chief said he couldn't comment further on the case because the criminal investigation is being conducted by a different agency and that it is also a personnel matter.
Police say they do not suspect there are additional victims, but if there are victims who have not been identified they may call Fontana police at 909-350-7740.