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Conductor busted for lewd acts

 | Published on 1/13/2011


A Caltrain conductor was arrested after allegedly soliciting sex from two female passengers, one 16, who entered the train without enough fare or tickets, said Santa Clara County prosecutor Steve Fein.

The most recent incident was Nov. 27 and involved a 16-year-old girl, Fein said. Ricardo Arias Cano, an Amtrak employee, also allegedly solicited sex from an adult woman back in April who also entered a train without a ticket or enough fare to pay for one, Fein said.

Cano, 60, was arrested at his home in South San Francisco Dec. 30 and faces a felony charge of communicating with a minor with the intent to commit a sex act, Fein said. He also faces misdemeanor charges of committing a lewd act in public and false imprisonment.

The 16-year-old was allegedly escorted to a control room on a northbound train in Palo Alto when Cano solicited the victim for sex in lieu of issuing a citation, according to Caltrain. The victim quickly fled the suspect and called transit police immediately.

“He used his position of authority to get the victims in vulnerable positions,” Fein said.

The most recent incident occurred in Palo Alto and the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office will prosecute the case.

The adult victim first made an anonymous complaint but decided to cooperate with prosecutors when the minor was victimized, according to Caltrain.

The arrest is the result of an investigation by the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office Transit Police Bureau. 

Cano is barred from Caltrain property and is out of custody after his bail was set at $55,000.   

“The type of behavior alleged in the complaint will not be tolerated,” said Caltrain Chief of Protective Services Dave Triolo. 

Caltrain contracts with Amtrak for rail service.

Cano is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the charges. He also has a 2007 drunken driving conviction, according to Caltrain.