A man caught by a week-long Madera police sting this spring has been convicted of trying to contact a 12-year-old girl for lewd or lascivious behavior, according to authorities.
A jury convicted Ricardo Ramos Valencia, 40, Monday of two counts of attempting a lewd act on a child under age 14 and two counts of attempting to contact a minor intending to commit oral copulation.
Judge Mitchell Rigby will sentence Ramos on Nov. 21.
Ramos may face about seven years in prison, according to Madera Police Sgt. Mark Trukki.
Madera police had been contacted by the mother of a 12-year-old Madera girl who had received inappropriate messages from Ramos via Facebook.
“The defendant tried to contact the girl even after the girl’s mother took the girl’s cell phone away and told him not to bother her daughter any more,” said John Bell of the Madera County District Attorney’s Office.
During the sting, authorities took over the girl’s Facebook profile with her permission and learned that Ramos, who had sent and asked for lewd images, lived and worked in Madera.
Police arranged a meeting with Ramos and, using a decoy of the girl he had contacted, arrested Ramos on April 12 at Pan-American Park. In his apartment, police found evidence that Ramos intended to have sex with the girl.
Madera police posted a widely viewed video of the surveillance and arrest of Ramos on Facebook.
“Our Special Investigations Unit along with detectives worked closely together on this case in order to bring it to a successful conclusion,” Trukki said.
Madera County District Attorney David Linn thanked the jury, victim and mother, and victim witness advocate Melissa Del Toro of Community Action Partnership.
“It is very important for all law enforcement in Madera County to vigorously protect the children of our County from predators like the defendant,” Linn said.
To view video of the arrest, visit https://www.facebook.com/MaderaPD/videos/1699214290122905/