Clown performer accused of sexually assaulting 10-year-old, California police say

A part-time clown performer is accused of sexually assaulting a child younger than 10 for four years, California officials said.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said Wednesday that a clown performer for a party supply store in East Los Angeles is accused of sexually assaulting a child. The Payazos Party Supplies performer went by the name “Ponponio,” according to a sheriff’s department news release.

“The suspect is the family friend of a 10-year-old female victim,” the sheriff’s department said in the news release. “The victim alleged that between 2016 and 2020, the suspect sexually molested her.”

Florentino Gonzalez Penaloza, 51, was arrested Sept. 6 on charges of sex acts with a child under 10, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department said. He is in custody with a bail of $950,000.

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“Based on the nature of the allegations, along with the suspect’s affiliation with children’s entertainment, detectives believe there may be additional unidentified victims,” the sheriff’s department said. “Detectives are seeking the public’s help in identifying any such victims.”

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