Magalia man charged with sex crimes, faces life in prison
Two women in household also arraigned
OROVILLE >> A Magalia man could face life in prison after he was charged with multiple counts of physical and sexual child abuse, possession of child pornography, and torture stemming from several years of violence.
Robert Chavez, 41, was arrested at his Magalia home Jan. 27 after a prolonged standoff with Butte County District Attorney investigators.
Chavez allegedly has five children by way of two women: Kelsey Cabrera, 34, and Amanda Johnson, 38. Both women were in the home at the time of the arrest and, according to a news release from DA Mike Ramsey, were involved in a polyamorous relationship with Chavez over several years.
The children range in age from 4 to 16 years. Butte County Sheriff’s deputies had responded to the children’s school Jan. 26 after being alerted to reports of possible child abuse within the home. Butte County Children’s Services Division social workers responded to the school and home, and eventually, took all five children into protective custody.
DA investigators conducted multiple searches of the home, as well as interviews, and learned the extent of the Chavez’s abuse occurring in the home. Investigators found out about multiple incidents of sexual abuse in addition to extreme levels of physical abuse.
Chavez was initially arraigned last Tuesday on multiple charges ranging from sexual and physical abuse of minors to dissuading witnesses. He was held in custody at the Butte County Jail after a judge denied bail due to public safety concerns.
Cabrera and Johnson were added to Chavez’s criminal complaint Friday and arraigned on one charge each of dissuading witnesses and three counts each of felony child abuse for failure to protect the children. Both women were held in the jail on $300,000 bail each.
On the same date, and on the same criminal complaint, the DA’s office added additional charges for Chavez — including child pornography, torture and sex charges — that can bring life in prison. Ramsey said he anticipates further charges as new evidence arises; his investigators were still reviewing multiple computer hard drives and surveillance cameras found inside the home.
Cabrera and Johnson will appear in court to enter pleas at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. Chavez will appear in court to enter pleas at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 15.