PALO ALTO (BCN) — A Caltrain conductor is facing charges of misconduct for allegedly demanding sexual favors from two female passengers who boarded trains without tickets, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.
Investigators believe that South San Francisco resident Ricardo Cano, 60, an Amtrak employee contracted to work for Caltrain, escorted a 16-year-old girl to a fireman’s cab on an inner train car on Nov. 27 and asked her to perform a sexual act, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office.
The teenager told investigators that she did not have a ticket when she boarded a northbound Caltrain at the California Avenue Station in Palo Alto because her purse had been stolen the day before.
She was approached by Cano, who asked to see her ticket, according to the sheriff’s report. When she said she didn’t have one, he told her to follow him and allegedly led the girl into a small compartment on the upper level of the railcar and shut the door.
The victim said Cano asked her what she was going to do about not having a ticket, then stuck is hand down his pants and asked her if she was going to perform oral sex on him, according to the report.
The girl said she refused and forced open the compartment door, went back through the car in hysterics, and de-boarded at Stanford station.
She called police when she arrived at work, investigators said.
The victim stated that while locked in the compartment, Cano did not try to issue her a citation, nor did he touch her, threaten her or try to prevent her from leaving the room, according to the sheriff’s office.
Investigators who went to Cano’s home said he told several conflicting versions of the confrontation with the girl. Cano allegedly stated the girl “went nuts” and yelled profanities when he told her she was going to get a citation.
Passengers who were on board told authorities they saw the girl burst out of the compartment, yelling and crying.
Statements from the victim, witnesses and evidence contradicted Cano’s statements, and an arrest warrant was obtained Dec. 30.
Cano was taken into custody the following day.
A woman in her 20s subsequently contacted authorities when she heard of Cano’s alleged advances on the girl, according to the district attorney’s office.
The woman stated she had been traveling without a ticket on a southbound Caltrain on April 24, 2010, when she was approached by a conductor, later identified as Cano, according to the district attorney’s office.
Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Steve Fein said Cano took the woman to a secluded area of the train and allegedly engaged in lewd behavior similar to the alleged misconduct he is accused of engaging in with the young girl.
Cano has been charged with two felony counts of false imprisonment and one misdemeanor count of annoying or molesting a child under age 18, Fein said.
He is also charged with one felony count of contact with a minor with intent to commit a crime and one misdemeanor count of soliciting to engage in lewd conduct.
Cano is out of custody on $55,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 27.
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