Scotts Bluff Sheriff’s Department asks for public’s help in locating man convicted of sexual assault
The Scotts Bluff County Sheriff’s Department has issued an alert asking for the public’s help in locating a man wanted after he failed to appear in court for sentencing in a child sexual assault case.
Scotts Bluff County Sheriff Mark Overman said Joseph “Joe” Anaya, 34, is wanted on multiple felony warrants, including sexual assault of a child and possession of a controlled substance. Anaya is described as 5 foot, 7 inches, weighing 200 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.
A Scotts Bluff County District Court jury convicted Anaya in August of charges of third-degree sexual assault of a child, a Class IIIA felony, and obstructing a police officer, a Class I misdemeanor. Charges stemmed from an investigation that began when Gering Police had been contacted on Jan. 16 regarding a report of a possible sexual assault. During an interview with police, the 9-year-old girl disclosed that Anaya had touched her sexually during a visit and had also previously walked in on her in the shower and other acts.
Anaya was scheduled for sentencing on Oct. 15, and he did not appear in court. A warrant for his arrest was issued. He had posted ten percent of a $100,000 bond ($10,000) in the case.
Anaya had also been the subject of an earlier arrest warrant, for failing to appear, issued on Oct. 2, according to Scotts Bluff County Court records. Anaya had been charged with driving under suspension, a Class III misdemeanor; possession of a controlled substance, a Class IV felony; and possession of drug paraphernalia, an infraction, in Scotts Bluff County Court. Anaya faced charges after arrested on Sept. 17 at a Scottsbluff convenience store. Officers had located five grams of methamphetamine in a restroom of the convenience store after Anaya had left the room. After posting ten percent of a $15,000 bond ($1,500) in that case, Anaya failed to appear for a Sept. 26 preliminary hearing, and a warrant was issued.
Anyone with information may contact any law enforcement agency. Persons wishing to remain anonymous can contact the Sheriff’s Office text-a-tip program at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Scotts Bluff County Crime Stoppers at 308-632-STOP (7867).