Woman Arrested in Child Pornography Case Dating Back 11 Years [UPDATED]
After an exhaustive investigation by federal agents and a call for the public's help, a woman in the San Fernando Valley has been arrested in an 11-year-old case of suspected child sexual abuse, reports City News Service. The woman was seen in hundred of images alongside a man molesting a girl who appears to be about 13 years old. The images were discovered by federal agents in 2007, and a search for the perpetrators had been ongoing since then.
The woman in question is described in the images as between 35 and 45 years old, white, and with tattoos on her wrist, hip, back and upper chest. The man is described as between 40 and 50, and also white. Both would be 11 years older now.
On Thursday, the agents asked for the public's help, leading to a break in the case. The woman seen in the photographs was taken into custody at 8:30 p.m. last night in North Hills. The man is still at large.
Officials estimate that the images featuring the couple and this victim have shown up in 275 child pornography cases in the country.
"The reality is, every time a photo or a video of an innocent child being sexually exploited is viewed, that victim is violated again,'' Claude Arnold, special agent in charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Los Angeles told City News Service. "That is why we owe it to all of the juvenile victims in these kinds of cases to work tirelessly to seek answers and, ultimately, justice."
UPDATE: The United States Attorney's Office has provided additional details about the suspect and her arrest. The woman has been identified as 52-year-old Letha Mae Montemayor, and she was arrested less than 10 hours after the feds filed their case and made public images of her and an unidentified male accomplice:
At approximately 2 p.m. Thursday, authorities received the first tip via a call to the ICE Tip Line regarding the possible identity of “Jane Doe.” After this initial phone call, several corroborating leads were provided by members of the public. After further investigation, HSI special agents determined that Montemayor was the likely suspect. She was placed under surveillance and subsequently arrested.
The identity and whereabouts of the male suspect remain unknown at this time, as does the identity of the victim. Authorities say the investigation remains ongoing.