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Riverside County man arrested in sex-abuse case

March 7, 2012 | 11:10 pm

A Riverside County man who allegedly asked young women to strip for supposed religious ceremonies was arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing a female family member, authorities said Wednesday.

Efrain Bernal, 41, who lives in East Hemet, had been abusing the family member for 10 years since she was a child, according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

Deputies responded to Bernal's home in the 42000 block of Acacia Avenue after receiving a report that he had asked the women to take off their clothes as part of a religious ceremony, authorities said. Some of the females were under 18. After arriving, they learned of the abuse of the family member.

The department said an investigation is ongoing and asked anyone with information to call deputies at (951) 791-3400.


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— Robert J. Lopez