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Man faked Down syndrome to get baths and diaper changes from caregivers, Ariz. cops say

Paul Menchaca, a 30-year-old man from Gilbert, Arizona, faces charges of sexual abuse and fraudulent schemes, according to online Maricopa County court records.
Paul Menchaca, a 30-year-old man from Gilbert, Arizona, faces charges of sexual abuse and fraudulent schemes, according to online Maricopa County court records. Maricopa County Sheriff's Office

Three Arizona caregivers thought a mother named “Amy” had hired them to help her adult son who had Down syndrome, according to authorities.

Police said “Amy” would send text messages detailing any instructions she had for the caregivers about bathing and changing the diapers of Paul Menchaca, a 30-year-old in Gilbert, Arizona — but the caregivers didn’t meet “Amy” in person, CBS 5 reports.

“‘Amy’ asked all three victims to ‘punish’ [Menchaca] when he soiled his diaper by putting him in timeout and taking away his privileges,” a probable cause statement said, according to CBS 5. “All three victims were paid in cash by [Menchaca] when they picked him up and dropped him off from neutral locations.”

But “Amy” didn’t exist at all, according to police: Menchaca had created the fake identity to seek caregivers for himself on the website carelinx.com, and then pretended to have Down syndrome during the caregivers’ visits over the summer, FOX 10 reports.

What tipped the caregivers off to the ruse?

Police said they became skeptical of Menchaca because he would demand they scrub him more thoroughly in “certain areas,” FOX 10 reports. Court records said that one caregiver remembered five occasions when Menchaca “aggressively said his genitals were not cleaned enough,” according to CBS 5.

Police said the first of Menchaca’s three caregivers eventually tailed him to his real home one day following a session Menchaca had with another caregiver, and then spoke to his parents at the home to learn that Menchaca didn’t need diapers — and didn’t have Down syndrome, ABC 15 reports.

When all three caregivers challenged Menchaca about the situation, he “admitted to lying to them about his mental condition,” CBS 5 reports.

Menchaca was arrested Sept. 6 at his home for the incidents, ABC 15 reports.

According to court records, one caregiver gave baths and changed diapers for Menchaca 30 times at locations around Chandler and Gilbert, Arizona, though never at Menchaca’s home, CBS 5 reports.

Police said the three caregivers Menchaca is accused of abusing knew each other, and that each of them witnessed Menchaca become sexually aroused as they gave him baths, ABC 15 reports.

Menchaca faces charges of sexual abuse and fraudulent schemes, according to online Maricopa County court records.

His preliminary hearing is set for next week Monday, court records said.

In court during an initial appearance, Menchaca defended himself, FOX 10 reports.

“I do have a low IQ level,” Menchaca said, according to the TV station. “My mom and dad both have paperwork to prove that, and started to talk to my dad about getting me some help, and getting me a counselor.”

Menchaca said he works as a school crossing guard, ABC 15 reports.

One of the caregivers, speaking in court, asked that Menchaca’s bond be set high, FOX 10 reports.

“I fear for my safety ... as well as my family and friends, because I did bring my family and friends around him,” she said, according to the TV station.

Menchaca’s bond was set at $15,000, CBS 5 reports.

Charlene Wagner worries that her husband, Allen Wagner, has been overly medicated with anti-psychotic drugs while in Kansas nursing homes. Her husband has Lewy Body Dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

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