MURRIETA: DA’s office files 99 felony counts against area resident related to sexual abuse of a minor

MURRIETA – A Temecula area resident was arraigned this morning at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta on 99 felony counts related to allegations of child molestation and sexual abuse of a minor. The alleged incidents reportedly occurred in an unincorporated area of Riverside County, near Temecula.

The suspect, who has been identified as 52-year-old Sean Fitzpatrick Damewood, was originally booked on over 500 felony counts related to the alleged incidents involving a young girl.

Sean Damewood, arrested on multiple allegations of child sexual assault.
Sean Damewood, arrested on multiple allegations of child sexual assault.

In a press release from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, Sgt. Spivacke wrote that deputies from the Southwest Station began investigating the reported incidents Jan. 4., after receiving information regarding the alleged sexual abuse.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Southwest Station, where the initial report was filed, includes the Temecula Police Department and covers the city of Temecula as well as several surrounding, unincorporated communities.

According to Spivacke, during their initial investigation, deputies interviewed an unidentified juvenile female regarding the allegations. The juvenile disclosed to them she had been the victim of several years of ongoing sexual abuse by a man Spivacke identified as a, “longtime friend of the family.”

Based on the deputies’ initial findings, detectives assumed the investigation. During their follow up interviews, detectives learned the alleged sexual abuse had been occurring for approximately four years. The victim described abuse that began when she was about 5-years-old and continued until she was about 9-years-old. The victim also disclosed to investigators the suspect had initiated several hundred different encounters during that time.

Before investigators could contact Damewood, they learned he had fled the area, after he learned about the allegations of sexual abuse. According to Spivacke, Damewood was located the following afternoon, Jan. 5, in San Diego County. He was detained on Newport Avenue in the city of Ocean Beach.

Damewood was transported back to Riverside County to the Southwest Station, where he was interviewed regarding the allegations against him. Based on their initial and follow-up investigations and multiple interviews with witnesses, sheriff’s investigators arrested Damewood.

Following his arrest, Damewood was booked at the Southwest Detention Center on 522 charges. According to jail records, all but two of those charges were felonies related to sexual abuse and molestation of a minor.

Damewood, who is still in custody, made his first court appearance this morning. Court records indicate that of the 522 charges he was booked into jail on, the district attorney’s office filed 99 separate charges against him. Those charges include 48 counts of lewd acts with a child, 50 counts of engaging in oral copulation or sexual penetration with a child, and a single count of exhibiting harmful matter to a juvenile.

Court records also indicate that during today’s court hearing a non-domestic criminal order of protection was issued against Damewood. It was not immediately known who that order of protection was related to.

Damewood is scheduled for a Felony Settlement Conference Jan. 19. His next court date has been scheduled for Jan. 21, at 8:30 a.m., at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta.

Damewood remains in custody at the Southwest Detention Center. He is being held in lieu of $1,000,000 bail.

 

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