YUMA, Ariz. – The Yuma Police Department’s Child and Sex Crimes Unit was able to get another suspected sexual predator off of Yuma’s streets.
This time it was 40-year-old Shannon Caiazzo who is accused of luring a 17-year-old girl with the promise of drugs and money in exchange for sex.
Police said the alleged victim knows him, but the two are not related.
Although Caiazzo was arrested on Tuesday, the judge said the incident with the 17-year-old girl happened back in January 2019.
News 11 was also able to uncover details about Caiazzo’s past.
About two years ago, he was a special education teacher’s aid for the Yuma Union High School District.
However, he appears to be currently unemployed.
In the courtroom Friday, a victim’s advocate from Amberly’s Place appeared on behalf of the victim.
Amberly’s Place said oftentimes victims who are minors need help with navigating the criminal justice system.
Amberly’s Place Director, Diane Umphress, explained, “The most concerns [for victims are] I don’t feel safe. I have a hard time sleeping at night. I’m afraid they’re going to retaliate in one way or another. Oftentimes those statements will be made right before bail if they’re afraid of what’s going to happen if [their abuser] is released from the court or from jail that they’re going to come and harass them. The things they’ve normally been threatened with are the things they’ll usually put in their impact statement.”
In this case, the victim’s advocate did say that the accuser requested Caiazzo be held on a high cash bond.
The judge granted her request by setting the bail at $200,000, despite Caiazzo’s pleas to reduce that amount.
Caiazzo is facing felony charges for sexual exploitation and misconduct with a minor.
Caiazzo is due back in court next week.
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