Jury finds Joseph Ward guilty of sexually assaulting a nanny in northeast Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Fresno County jury has found a man guilty of sexually assaulting a nanny in northeast Fresno last summer.

The verdict was handed down to Joseph Ward in a Fresno County court on Thursday afternoon.

Ward was also found guilty of burglary and using a knife. He now faces life in prison.

Last June, a nanny was walking with the 1-year-old she was taking care of in a neighborhood near Woodward Park when Ward approached her.

He asked her for water, then money and then her phone.

He eventually showed her a knife wrapped in a t-shirt or a rag and forced his way inside.

RELATED: Northeast Fresno nanny describes sexual assault, robbery and identifies attacker

"He closed the door and locked it, and the baby was screaming," said the woman we're not identifying because she was the victim of a sex crime. "So he told me to shut the baby up, so I picked the baby up."

She didn't put the boy down again until she was free, even as the man sexually assaulted her.

He did it once, and she tried to run afterward, but she slipped and fell because he'd put oil on her.
The man then forced her to go with him as he looked around the house, careful not to leave his fingerprints.

RELATED: Joseph Ward's phone was off during alleged sexual assault of nanny, says officer

"He asked me if I had any lingerie," she said. "I said no. He said if we went upstairs and he found any, he was going to rape me. What he just did to me, he wanted to do again, and then he'd leave."

She says he also started threatening to hurt the baby if she didn't do what he said.

He raped her again and then left to get him money from an ATM.

"We had to go with him, and when we left the house I couldn't scream or ask for help, or he would hurt the baby," she said. "We saw the neighbors, and I wanted to yell for help, and they were waving, and I was trying to mouth that we needed help."

RELATED: 2 women testify against man who allegedly kidnapped, sexually assaulted nanny from northeast Fresno

Ward is accused of a similar attack against an ex-girlfriend, and a couple of exotic dancers described him rubbing oil on them and drugging them, similar to what happened to the nanny.
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