Crime

Winton truck driver accused of sexually abusing child

A 35-year-old Winton man who runs a truck driving business out of Livingston was arrested and charged this week for alleged continuous sexual abuse of a child.

Victor Alfonso Sanchez hasn’t yet entered a plea to five felony counts of forcible lewd acts to a minor under 14 years old, according to court records.

The alleged offenses occurred between April 1 and Aug. 31 last year. According to court records, the child told Merced County Sheriff’s deputies Sanchez touched her inappropriately by force, and estimated the abuse happened at least 30 times, a claim Sanchez later denied.

The child and her mother reported the abuse to authorities. Later, detectives listened in on a phone call between the child’s mother and Sanchez.

During the phone call, Sanchez initially denied inappropriately touching the girl, according to reports. But as the conversation continued, he admitted some of the abuse, but claimed he wasn’t “in his five senses” when he “did that,” the reports state.

According to the reports, he said the abuse would happen when he would take drugs.

Sanchez is an independent truck driver, court records indicate, with a personal phone number matching that of a Livingston-based trucking company.

Sanchez was in custody Friday and being held at the John Latorraca Correctional Center in lieu of $1.2 million bail, according to jail records. He is scheduled to appear for his arraignment hearing Wednesday in Merced County Superior Court.

Vikaas Shanker is an award-winning reporter covering education, crime and courts for the Merced Sun-Star and Los Banos Enterprise. After growing up in Naperville, Illinois and graduating from the University of Kansas, he reported in several Chicago suburbs before moving to Merced County in 2016.
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