Local News

Sep 2, 2014 8:40 PM by Connie Tran, KSBY News

Cayucos fire captain facing multiple counts of forcible rape, other sex crimes

A Cayucos Fire Department captain has been arrested and is facing multiple charges of rape, sodomy, selling and being in possession of cocaine, and dissuading a witness by force or threat.

Oscar Higueros, Jr., 38, of Cayucos, was arrested last Thursday at his home on allegations of child abuse. According to the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney's Office, the victim is a 17-year old girl.

The Cayucos Fire Department said he has served as a captain for the past five or six years. Chief Mike Minetti told KSBY on Tuesday that Higueros is currently on unpaid administrative leave.

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office said it started an investigation on August 25 after receiving a child abuse report. After investigating, they served a search warrant at Higueros' home on August 28, and he was arrested immediately.

Many in the small beach town of Cayucos were shocked to hear the news about one of their town's employees.

"What I found strange was when I walked by this house, I'm always noticing that the drapes were always pulled closed. They never opened. And I thought it was a little strange that we saw no activity around the house," said longtime resident Linda Williams.

Williams walks her dog by Higueros' house almost every day. She said she can't believe what allegedly took place behind closed doors.

She said, "It petrifies me because I have four children, ten grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. And it's just shocking to know that this could be happening to a child. And like I said, it just petrifies me."

Minetti told KSBY on Tuesday that Higueros was a good employee and hard worker. However, after this morning's allegations, Minetti commented, "I have a different take on him right now."

Minetti simply said he's speechless.

"I hope the residents of Cayucos understand that it's something that we didn't see coming. And if we would have saw it coming, it definitely would have been stopped," said Minetti.

But some residents, like Williams, still have questions.

Williams said, "I feel that those those kinds of positions need to be, have a good strong background check done on them."

Minetti says the fire department's priority is the town and its people. He said finding Higueros' substitute or replacement is now a priority.

Minetti said, "It's a small town. Everybody knows what's going on, and I'm hoping it didn't hurt the citizens here in Cayucos. I apologize for that."

The Cayucos Fire Department could not say immediately how much money Higueros was making.

Higueros is expected to appear in court on Wednesday morning for his arraignment.

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