The alleged teen victim in a sex case involving a Yuma Police Department officer claims the officer is innocent.
Ron Anton Ciancimino, 25, was arrested by deputies with the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office on Friday and booked into the Yuma County Adult Detention Center. He faces possible charges including luring a minor for sexual exploitation and sexual exploitation of a minor.
Ciancimino, who has been employed by YPD as a patrol officer since May 2011, has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
Ciancimino made his initial appearance in weekend court at 1 p.m. Saturday.
During the proceedings, the alleged victim in this case made a statement in an attempt to clear Ciancimino’s name. The girl, 16, will not be identified by the Yuma Sun because she is both the alleged victim and a minor.
“He has too much integrity, too much honor and too much commitment to YPD to do anything like that,” she said. “He respects himself, the community and his job way more (than) to do something like that. He respects me more (than) to take advantage or anything like that. He did not do it. He is not guilty.”
Following her statement, the presiding judge, the honorable George Hofer said the court does not determine guilt or innocence during hearings. However, he did note there is enough probable cause to move forward with the case, which he described as less than absolute proof, but more than mere suspicion.
The prosecution requested a cash only bond for Ciancimino be set at $100,000 because “we do have further investigation to proceed with and we need to ensure the integrity of that investigation,” they said.
The judge agreed to the request and set Ciancimino’s cash only bond at $109,906.
Ciancimino’s next appearance will be at 1 p.m. Sept. 24 in Yuma Justice Court.
On Tuesday, YCSO deputies were sent to Yuma Regional Medical Center after receiving reports a 16-year-old girl at the hospital had been the victim of a possible sexual offense.
The deputies met with the victim and learned 27-year-old Joshua Jonathan Alpizar and Ciancimino were potentially involved.
On Thursday, YCSO investigators contacted Alpizar at his residence in the 3000 block of West 8th Street. Alpizar reportedly admitted to the allegations and was arrested.
On Friday, with the assistance of YPD, YCSO investigators contacted Ciancimino at the police department and transported him to YCSO facilities for questioning. He was later arrested and booked into jail.
No additional details about the alleged incident are available because the YCSO Criminal Investigations Bureau is conducting an active investigation.
Investigators encourage anyone with information concerning this investigation to contact YCSO at 783-4427, the YPD Professional Standards Unit at 373-4691, or 78-CRIME to remain anonymous.