GILBERT, AZ (KNXV/CNN) – Police arrested a 31-year-old man after at least three victims say he pretended to have Down syndrome while they cared for him, including bathing him and changing his diapers.
Paul Menchaca, 31, faces charges of fraud and sexual abuse. He was arrested Sept. 6 at his home after reportedly posing as “Amy” to hire a caregiver for her son with Down syndrome.
The first victim reported to police she assisted Menchaca with diaper changes and baths on 30 occasions over the summer. A second and third victim took over caregiving duties starting in July. All said Menchaca would become sexually aroused as he was being bathed, according to police.
Menchaca contacted caregivers through apps like Carelinx and Care.com, according to some of the caregivers, who wanted to remain anonymous.
“He acted like a child; his whole demeanor was childlike. He would have tantrums, talk like a child, act like a child,” one caregiver said. “Why would you do that? Why would you make us change you knowing you didn’t have to? Why didn’t you give us a choice?”
At one point, the first victim became suspicious and followed Menchaca to his actual home. She knocked on the door and met his parents then discovered he does not have Down syndrome or need diapers.
Another caregiver hired through Care.com said Menchaca told her he had a traumatic brain injury.
“He did ask me a few times to come over and help him shower,” the caregiver said. “I feel disgusted and very uncomfortable. I’m glad I never showered him, and he’s going to get what he deserves for fooling everybody like this.”
All three victims confronted Menchaca, who reportedly admitted to lying to them. They say the experience traumatized them.
Menchaca was employed as a crossing guard for the Chandler Unified School District but resigned Aug. 31, according to the district. He worked for them for about two years in varying positions.
District officials said they conducted fingerprint clearance and reference checks during the hiring process, but nothing came up on Menchaca.