San Jose police seek more victims in sexual assault case involving city recreation leader

Mark West

SAN JOSE (BCN) — Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying more victims in a sexual assault case involving a San Jose city employee who allegedly developed a relationship with a teen girl earlier this year.

Mark Joseph West, 25, was arrested on July 16 based on a report the day before of a suspicious circumstance at a San Jose home, police Sgt. Enrique Garcia said.

West was a recreation leader hired by the City of San Jose in 2011, but is no longer working for the city according to spokesman David Vossbrink.

Vossbrink added that all parks and recreation employees are screened using background checks and fingerprints, and no record of prior sexual offenses came to the city’s attention during that screening process.

“As far as we know there are no victims associated with our city recreation programs,” Vossbrink said, but the city is working to notify community center participants of the case against West.

Investigators determined West and the victim, a 15-year-old girl, met on social media in January and formed a relationship involving the allegations against him, Garcia said.

West has been arraigned on charges of two felony counts of exhibiting or soliciting lewd material to or from a minor and four misdemeanor counts of annoying or molesting a child, prosecutors said.

He is scheduled for a plea hearing on Thursday at the Hall of Justice.

West is being held at the Elmwood Correctional Facility in Milpitas on $90,000 bail, according to jail records.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call police Detective Karuss at (408) 277-4102. Anonymous tips can be made by to Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers at (408) 947-7867.

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