Probationer arrested after sexual battery of Temecula girl

TEMECULA — A probationer who allegedly accosted a girl near Vail Ranch Park, in the area of Vail Ranch Parkway and Harmony Ln. in Temecula, was located and arrested, Thursday morning, Dec. 27, according to Riverside County Sheriff officials.


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Deputies assigned to Temecula Police Department responded to the area just after 9:30 a.m., after receiving reports of a sexual battery involving the girl, Riverside Sheriff’s Sgt. Robert Menchaca explained after the incident and arrest. 

Deputies investigating the incident learned a man, later identified as 26-year-old, Miguel Esteban Cruz, of Temecula, had “sexually battered” the young victim before fleeing into the nearby green belt area on foot.

Miguel Cruz was arrested yesterday after officials say he sexually battered a girl. RSO booking photo

The victim described Cruz as having pale skin and wearing all black or dark clothing, and deputies converged on the area and began searching for the alleged suspect.

Jail records indicated deputies located Cruz about two hours later in the area of Cupa Ln. and Machon Rd., about a half-mile from where the battery was originally reported.

Based on their investigation, deputies arrested Cruz and he was subsequently booked at Cois Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta on suspicion of lewd and lascivious acts with a child younger than 14, resisting arrest, and violation of probation. He remains in custody on $500,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned at Murrieta’s Southwest Justice Center, Dec. 31.

Anyone with information regarding this incident or who believes they may have been victimized by Cruz is encouraged to contact Deputy Humberto Garcia-Flores at (951) 696-3000. Callers can refer to incident file number TE183610047 and can remain anonymous. Citizens may also submit a tip using the Sheriff’s CrimeTips online form.

Contact the writer: [email protected]

Trevor Montgomery, 47, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle, and Anza Valley Outlook; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.