The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Breaking News

January 5, 2013

Woman arrested in decade-old LA child porn case

LOS ANGELES — A woman suspected of making and appearing in child porn photos a decade ago that have circulated widely in the years since was arrested hours after authorities released images of her taken from those shots, federal officials announced Friday.

Letha Mae Montemayor, 52, was taken into custody outside a San Fernando Valley apartment complex after authorities received several tips.

She is expected to make a federal court appearance Monday on charges of producing child pornography and conspiracy, officials said. Each charge carries a minimum 15-year prison sentence.

An unidentified man also seen in the photos was still being sought.

It wasn't immediately clear whether Montemayor had obtained a lawyer, and there was no public telephone listing for her. However, her son told a TV station that the allegations were false.

Montemayor was arrested fewer than 10 hours after federal authorities announced that they were looking for a man and woman who appeared to be molesting a girl who looked to be about 13 in photos that were widely circulated online.

Forensic experts believe the shots were taken about 11 years ago in the San Fernando Valley. A phone book and calendar were seen in the shots, officials said.

The images were first discovered by ICE agents in Chicago in 2007.

The woman in the photos had several distinctive tattoos, including a butterfly on her hip and a curled-up cat on her right shoulder.

"This arrest would not have happened without the public's help, and it demonstrates how much individual citizens can do to help law enforcement attack crime," ICE Director John Morton said in a statement.

The then-unknown adults in the photos were charged with conspiracy to produce child pornography and production of child pornography. The criminal complaint listed them as "John Doe" and "Jane Doe."

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