Waterford, California – On Tuesday, May 28, 2024, detectives arrested 38-year-old David Odom of Merced for multiple felony charges related to sexual acts with a minor.

In February of this year, a report was made to the Sheriff’s Office from a witness who reported seeing suspicious vehicle parked in his orchard.  When he went to investigate the vehicle, he observed Mr. Odom and a female, “who looked young” as the witness described, sitting in the vehicle.  The witness did not observe anything occurring but confronted Mr. Odom and told him to leave the property.  This incident was later reported to the Sheriff’s Office.

Detective Ruezga, who is assigned to Waterford Police Services, began to conduct a follow up investigation on Mr. Odom.  During his investigation, Detective Ruezga located a prior incident that was reported in 2013, where Mr. Odom was reported to be involved in a relationship with a 16-year-old female.  At the time, the suspected victim provided limited information about the investigation and any relationships with Mr. Odom.  The investigation was closed for lack of evidence.

Detective Ruezga recontacted the suspected victim, who is now an adult, regarding the reported incident from 2013.  The victim disclosed she did in fact have a sexual relationship with Mr. Odom in 2013 and that Mr. Odom was aware the victim was a minor at the time. 

During the investigation Detectives learned Mr. Odom held several volunteer positions within the community over the years where he was in contact with minors.  In 2009 Mr. Odom worked as an assistant coach at Waterford High School.  In 2012 he was a youth group volunteer at the Community Bible Church in Waterford.  He held each of those positions for approximately 1 year.

Mr. Odom was also a volunteer track coach at Hughson High School from 2021 until 2023.  He was fired from Hughson High School in 2023 after school staff observed him holding hands with a former student.  Witnesses told investigators that Mr. Odom had inappropriate relationships with female students while he was working as a volunteer track coach at Hughson High School.  

Both High Schools and the Church are cooperating with Sheriff’s Detectives during this on-going investigation.

Mr. Odom was arrested for the violation of California Penal Code section 287(b)(1) - oral copulation with minor and section 289(h) - sexual penetration of a minor. He was booked into the Stanislaus County Public Safety Center Jail. He has since posted bail ($125,000) and been released from custody.

Detectives are looking to identify any additional victims related to Mr. Odom or information related to this incident. You may contact Detective Ruezga by calling (209) 652-0724, emailing him at aruezga@stansheriff.com or leaving a tip with Stanislaus County Area Crime Stoppers through stancrimetipc.org or call 1-866-60-CRIME.