(KRON) — An employee of a janitorial services company that cleans the Palo Alto Veterans Affairs Hospital was charged with sexual abuse, the United States Department of Justice said Friday. The charges stem from an incident in which the suspect, Onofre Salas-Lozano, 40, of Palo Alto, is accused of coercing his subordinate into engaging in a sexual act.
Salas-Lozano was the victim’s direct supervisor at the janitorial company, the DOJ said. On July 2, 2021, he allegedly “used force and fear to cause the victim to engage in a sex act at the hospital,” per the DOJ.
Salas-Lozano is also accused of lying to a special agent at the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of the Inspector General, saying he and the victim never had sex.
Salas-Lozano was charged with aggravated sexual abuse, sexual abuse, and making false statements to a federal agent during an investigation. The sexual abuse charges carry maximum sentences of life in prison.
Salas-Lozano was arraigned on Friday. His next court appearance will be May 3.