Video discovery has convicted child molester facing final strike

A parole search of Ronald Morales’ Daly City home allegedly turned up videotapes of neighborhood girls

A convicted child molester from Daly City faces new allegations of filming neighborhood girls passing by his home.

In June, a parole search of Ronald Morales’ home on Franciscan Drive allegedly turned up videotapes with zoomed-in views of female crotches, according to San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

If convicted, the 56-year-old will face 25 years to life in prison under California’s three-strikes law.

The girls were walking down the street oblivious to the filming, prosecutors said. Morales shot the video “from his house looking out of his window, zooming in,” Wagstaffe said Monday.

There is no evidence that videos were shared with anyone or uploaded to the Internet, according to authorities. They appeared to be for “personal use,” Wagstaffe said.

Along with the videos, an “enormous cache” of child pornography allegedly was found during the parole search. Videos and pictures stored in boxes — some of the girls, who were between 6 and 14 years old, were engaged in sex — were stashed in multiple bedrooms, the dining room, a sun room, in vehicles and inside a metal shed, Wagstaffe said.

Morales is no stranger to child porn. He spent some six years in state prison for a 2002 conviction for child molestation and possession of child pornography, Wagstaffe said.

In that case — which occurred in the home where he still lives with his wife — he engaged in sexual acts with a 12-year-old girl and took pornographic photos of her. Doctors working for the defense testified that Morales was unlikely to re-offend, according to Wagstaffe.

On June 7, Morales was visited by a team of parole officers. Daly City police officers backed them up, Wagstaffe said.

Authorities initially came in search of Morales’ friend in an unrelated case, but decided to conduct a parole search while there, Wagstaffe said.

Morales’ attorney, Alex Bornstein, did not respond to requests for comment before press time Monday.

Morales appeared in court Monday for a pretrial conference on a repeat-offender child porn charge. He remains in custody on $250,000 bail. His jury trial is set to start in April.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

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