Reporting Deputy: Sergeant David Aldrich
File # Y221380017
On May 18, 2022, at 9:46 AM, Thermal Station patrol deputies responded to the 83800 block of Airport Boulevard in Thermal, reference a 15-year-old female that was sexually assaulted by an 18-year-old Hispanic male. The investigation revealed that on May 17, 2022, the victim was being driven home from school by an 18-year-old male. During the ride home, the 18-year-old male sexually assaulted the victim in his vehicle. The victim struggled to exit the vehicle, but was unable to do so. The victim was subsequently taken to another location and sexually assaulted two additional times before being able to escape. The victim reported the incident to law enforcement and was taken to a local hospital where she received treatment for her injuries. The investigation was assumed by the Thermal Station Investigations Bureau. During the investigation, the suspect was positively identified as Richard Beltran Ortega, an 18-year-old resident of Indio.
On September 21, 2022, at 3:00 PM, Beltran Ortega was located at a residence in the 83100 block of Albion Drive in the city of Indio. Beltran Ortega was taken into custody without incident. Beltran Ortega was booked at the John Benoit Detention Center for kidnapping with the intent of committing a sexual act, false imprisonment, and additional sexual related crimes.
The Thermal Station Investigations Bureau is asking anyone with additional information to contact Investigator Torres of the Thermal Sheriff’s Station by calling 760- 863-8461. If you wish to remain anonymous, call Valley Crimestoppers at 760-341-7867, or submit a tip at, valleycrimestoppers.org.
For media inquiries regarding this incident please contact the Media Information Bureau.
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