PD: Accused child molester 'preyed on young children for several years'

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- A Phoenix man is facing 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and police think there might be more victims.

According to Sgt. Steve Martos, Christian Turcios, 26, first showed up on detectives' radar in July 2010 when police were called to an alleged child molestation at a summer camp at Phoenix First Assembly.

After talking to the 11-year-old victim, police determined that Turcios had molested the child. Turcios, however, refused to cooperate with the investigation and never showed up to be interviewed. Because there was not enough evidence, police could not make an arrest although Turcios remained listed as a suspect, Martos said.

In October, more than a year after that incident, investigators from the Internet Crimes Against Children division launched a proactive investigation into the online exchange of child pornography. As a result of that investigation, detectives developed enough information to get a warrant to search Turcios' home. That search was done in December.

Looking at the evidence collected from that search, police discovered not only pictures of children engaged in sex acts, but also photos of Turcios engaged in sex acts with kids believed to be between 13 and 16 years old.

Detectives also learned that Turcios babysat for a family belonging Highland Church. Police were able to identify that family and found that Turcios surreptitiously shot video his 7-year-old charge in the family's home.

Turcios again opted not to cooperate with investigators.

"Based on the totality of evidence and information known in this case it is believed Turcios may have preyed on young children for several years," Martos said in a news release Tuesday afternoon. "He placed himself in positions where he could be around children during church camps and other activities. We are aware of at least three other victims (based on evidence collected at his home), however we have been unable to identify them at this time."

Anyone having information regarding this case is encouraged to contact the Phoenix Police Department at 602-262-6141. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may call Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS (948-6377), 1-800-343-TIPS (8477) or 480-TESTIGO (837-8446).