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Life in Prison in Fresno Sex Assault, Robbery Case Involving Nanny in Northeast Fresno



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A man convicted last year of 12 counts in a Fresno sexual assault and robbery case received life in prison on Friday.

Judge Kristi Culver Kapetan handed down the sentence to Joseph Matthew Ward, convicted of sexual assault, burglary, kidnapping and other crimes against a 24-year old Fresno woman and a child in a June 2018 incident.

Fresno Police at the time said the woman was working as a nanny and was walking a one year old child in the area of Fort Washington and Friant.

Joseph Ward (Fresno County Sheriff’s Office)

Assault Victim was Caring for 1-year Old Child

According to  a Fresno County District Attorney’s Office news release, Ward “forced the victim, and the one-year-old child in her care, into her home at knife point. Once in the home, Ward sexually assaulted the victim and ransacked the residence. Ward then took the victim’s laptop computer and forced the victim to go with him in her vehicle to an ATM where he demanded she withdraw money. After withdrawing money, the victim was able to escape from Ward. He then fled the location and abandoned the victim’s vehicle near a house belonging to one of his family members.”

A jury convicted Ward in August 2019.

Rick Thomas handled the case for the DA’s office. Kendall Simsarian served as Ward’s court appointed defense attorney.

Surveillance Video Released Shortly After the Attack

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email