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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


David Taub has spent most of his career in journalism behind the scenes working as a TV assignment editor and radio producer. For more than a decade, he has worked in the Fresno market with such stops at KSEE-24, KMJ and Power Talk 96.7. Taub also worked the production and support side of some of TV sports biggest events including the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals and NASCAR to name a few. Taub graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email