PIXLEY, CALIFORNIA – A Tulare County Sheriff’s Department correctional officer was arrested on Thursday for allegedly sexually assaulting a young girl. Michael Risenhoover, 33, was arrested when he showed up for work on Thursday and after hearing the charges he immediately resigned from his position. Risenhoover allegedly molested a girl under the age of 14 for three years. The exact age of the victim has not been disclosed.
The crime was brought to the attention of the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department by the Pixley Unified School District. In March, the victim told someone at the district that a man had molested her on more than one occasion. She identified the man who had been sexually assaulting her as Risenhoover. The alleged abuse took place in Pixley, where both the suspect and the victim live.
The sheriff’s department took up the investigation and after several months they had collected enough evidence to make the arrest yesterday afternoon. “It’s an atrocity and we don’t condone that behavior,” said Lt. Cheri Lehner. Lehner said it was a sad situation for the sheriff’s department.
Risenhoover was a nine-year veteran with the department, working in the detentions division at the men’s correctional facility for the last several years. He is now being held at the Tulare County Main Jail facing eight counts of sexual assault. His bail has been set at $1.3 million.