Authorities are seeking the public’s help in identifying potential victims of an East Los Angeles part-time clown arrested and accused of molesting a young child –and who sometimes worked out of a party supply store in Boyle Heights.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said on Wednesday that it is investigating allegations regarding the sexual assault of a child under 10 years of age by the clown performer. The 51-year-old male Hispanic suspect, Florentino González Peñaloza, was arrested on Sept. 6 and remains behind bars with a $950,000 bail.
He was scheduled for arraignment on Monday, but it was unclear if that took place.
González Peñaloza performed under the clown name of “Ponponio” and sometimes obtained work through the Payasos Party Supplies store at 3016 E. 4th St. in Boyle Heights. The store sells clown costumes, makeup and other supplies through the www.payazos.com website.
The suspect is the family friend of a 10-year-old female victim. The girl alleged that between 2016 and 2020, he sexually assaulted her.
Because of the nature of the allegations –and the suspect’s affiliation with children’s entertainment– detectives believe there may be additional unidentified victims.
The allegations are being investigated by the Sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau.
Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the bureau’s toll free tip line at (877) 710-5273 or by email at [email protected] Those who prefer to provide information anonymously may call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477) or through http://lacrimestoppers.org.