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Fri, July 19

Jury selection in sex crimes case expected Thursday

Joe Cervantes

Joe Cervantes

Lawyers expect to begin selecting a jury on Thursday in the trial for a former employee of West Yavapai Guidance Clinic who has been charged with numerous sex crimes.

Police arrested Joe Cervantes, 52, of Prescott Valley in November 2008 after his live-in girlfriend found a video that allegedly depicted Cervantes performing sex acts with two underage girls he knew, police said. The girlfriend turned the video over to police, who investigated. Police said they have identified the children in the video.

Police charged Cervantes with five counts of sexual assault, five counts of sexual conduct with a minor, seven counts of child molestation, one count of voyeurism and four counts of sexual exploitation of minor.

The West Yavapai Guidance Clinic put Cervantes, who worked in a non-clinical capacity, on administrative leave when officials there learned of his arrest, then later fired him. Cervantes had no contact with clients, a spokeswoman for the clinic said.

Cervantes, who could face a lengthy prison sentence if convicted, remains in custody, held without bond.

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