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January 9, 2013


Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 7:56 pm

SANTA ANA - A podiatrist is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow for possessing over 1,000 images of child pornography on his office computer. Pete Thomas, 58, Long Beach, is charged with one felony count of possession and control of child pornography. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of three years in state prison and mandatory lifetime sex offender registration. Thomas is out of custody on $50,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow, Jan. 10, 2013, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

On Oct. 15, 2012, Thomas was a podiatrist at Coastline Podiatry in Santa Ana. The defendant is accused of having a representative from an imaging company, setup and install a scanner on an office computer. The representative noticed thumbnail images of young girls who were nude and in sexual positions. The representative completed the installation, told his supervisor about the images, and reported it to the Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD).

On Oct. 30, 2012, SAPD and the Orange County Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory investigated the files on the computer. The defendant is accused of possessing approximately 1,100 images of girls ranging from 7 to 12 years old in stages of undress and showing their breasts or vagina, including approximately 100 images of young girls involved in sex acts with grown men. On Dec. 11, 2012, SAPD arrested Thomas.

December 13, 2012


Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 3:41 am

SANTA ANA - A former teacher was convicted and sentenced yesterday for molesting two female students, ages 13 and 15, and possessing graphic child pornography depicting young girls. Alex Bassinne, 51, Newport Beach, pleaded guilty to a court offer, Dec. 11, 2012, to one felony count each of lewd acts upon a child under 14, lewd acts upon a child, and possession and control of child pornography. Bassinne was sentenced to one year in jail, three years formal probation, and mandatory lifetime sex offender registration.

At the time of the sexual assaults, Bassinne was a teacher with the Santa Ana Unified School District who had worked at Santa Ana High School and Raymond A. Villa Fundamental Intermediate School. During this time, Bassinne made inappropriate sexual comments and leered at students.

On Feb. 15, 2009, Bassinne molested 15-year-old Jane Doe #2 by touching her buttocks during a class trip. Between Nov. 1, 2010, and Nov. 4, 2010, Bassinne looked down the shirt of 13-year-old Jane Doe #1. When Jane Doe #1 attempted to move her shirt to stop him, Bassinne grabbed the victim’s shirt and positioned it so that he could continue looking down it.

In 2011, Bassinne moved with his family from a home in Laguna Niguel to a home in Newport Beach and left several items of furniture behind, including a desk. Bassinne left a disc in the desk containing images of graphic child pornography depicting girls, approximately 10 to 12 years old. In April 2011, someone discovered the disc and turned it over to law enforcement authorities.

Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD) subsequently searched the defendant’s Newport Beach home. In this home, Bassinne possessed additional child pornography similar in nature to that found in the Laguna Niguel home.

Former Head of L.A. City Neighborhood Commission Sentenced to Seven Years in Federal Prison for Distributing Child Pornography

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 3:36 am

LOS ANGELES – A San Fernando Valley man who was president of the City of Los Angeles’ Board of Neighborhood Commissioners was sentenced this afternoon to 84 months in federal prison for distributing child pornography.

Albert Noah Abrams, 64, of Tarzana, was sentenced by United States District Judge R. Gary Klausner. At the conclusion of the sentencing hearing, Judge Klausner remanded Abrams into custody.

Abrams was arrested in this case in February and pleaded guilty in September to one count of distributing child pornography.

The case against Abrams resulted from an investigating into the sharing of child pornography on a peer-to-peer network. Following a search of Abrams’ residence in 2011, federal agents reviewed files on a computer and two external hard drives and determined there were more than 3,500 pictures and over 4,200 videos of suspected child pornography, according to a sentencing memorandum filed by prosecutors. Investigators also determined that the computer equipment had more than 3,000 deleted pictures of child pornography and over 4,000 deleted movie files that had names suggesting child pornography.


October 26, 2012

Accused Sex Offender Faces Minimum Sentence of 15 Years in Federal Prison after Pleading Guilty to Filming Child Molestation

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 2:01 pm

RIVERSIDE, California – A San Bernardino man pleaded guilty today in federal court to production of child pornography for filming his sexual conduct with a 13-year-old boy who lived near his residence.

Pedro Ruiz, who also used the name Peter Ruiz, 33, pleaded guilty this morning to one count of production of child pornography, a charge that carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in federal prison and could result in a sentence of as much as 30 years in federal prison.

Ruiz pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Virginia A. Phillips, who scheduled a sentencing hearing for December 17.

“Children are the most vulnerable members of our communities, and we are devoted to fighting their exploitation by predators like Ruiz,” said United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. “Congress has determined that lengthy prison sentences are warranted when people like Ruiz victimize young children.”

In a plea agreement filed in United States District Court, Ruiz admits that in 2009 he produced sexually explicit videos and images of the 13-year-old victim, who lived only a few houses away from Ruiz. When federal authorities searched Ruiz’s residence in 2010, they found on his computer thousands of videos and images depicting what defendant knew was child pornography.

A further examination of Ruiz’s computer devices revealed distribution of pornographic images of a prepubescent boy. In a combined effort with local law enforcement, FBI agents soon identified the 13-year-old victim, as well as two other local victims.

The San Bernardino District Attorney’s Office last year charged Ruiz with 23 counts of lewd acts upon a child, alleging the molestation of three victims, including the victim in the federal child pornography case. That case is still pending in San Bernardino Superior Court.

Authorities have uncovered evidence, which includes images found on Ruiz’s computer, that there may be other, unidentified victims of child molestation at the hands of Ruiz.

July 5, 2012

Redding Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: — fayarfa @ 5:00 pm

SACRAMENTO, CA—Joe Weldon Taylor, 33, formerly of Redding, appeared in federal court today to face child pornography charges, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

On May 24, 2012, a federal grand jury returned a one-count indictment, which had been sealed while law enforcement located Taylor. The indictment alleges that from December 2011 to January 2012, Taylor possessed videos containing depictions of the sexual exploitation of children. He was arrested in Longview, Washington, on June 1, 2012 by the FBI.

Taylor was arraigned today before United States Magistrate Judge Kendall J. Newman and entered a not guilty plea. His next scheduled court date is July 19, 2012 before United States District Judge Morrison C. England, Jr.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Morris is prosecuting the case.

The maximum statutory penalty for possession of child pornography is 10 years in prison. The actual sentence, if Taylor is convicted, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

March 1, 2012

Former Head of L.A. City Neighborhood Commission Indicted by Federal Grand Jury on Child Pornography Charges

Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: — fayarfa @ 2:57 am

LOS ANGELES – A San Fernando Valley man who was president of the City of Los Angeles’ Board of Neighborhood Commissioners surrendered this morning to special agents of the FBI after being charged with federal child pornography offenses.

Albert Noah Abrams, 63, of Tarzana, was named yesterday in an eight-count indictment that accuses him with distributing, receiving and possessing child pornography.

Abrams is expected to be arraigned on the indictment this afternoon in United States District Court in downtown Los Angeles.

The indictment charges Abrams with five counts of distributing child pornography. According to an affidavit in support of a search warrant executed at Abrams’ residence last summer, authorities looking into a peer-to-peer file-sharing network were able to download more than 150 videos and images depicting child pornography from a computer that was located at Abrams’ house.

The indictment further charges Abrams with two counts of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.

Abrams resigned from the Board of Neighborhood Commissions in early August, days after federal authorities executed a search warrant at his residence.


January 11, 2012

Orange County Man Sentenced to 26 Years in Federal Prison for Filming Sexually Explicit Videos of an 8-Year-Old Girl

LOS ANGELES – A previously convicted sex offender from Huntington Beach was sentenced today to 312 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to production of child pornography for filming sexually explicit videos of an 8-year-old girl.

Gary Samuel Cochran, 53, was sentenced this afternoon by United States District Judge Dean D. Pregerson pursuant to a plea agreement Cochran entered into last year.

Cochran pleaded guilty in September to one count of production of  child pornography, a charge that carries a mandatory minimum of 25 years in federal prison.  In the plea agreement, Cochran admitted that he produced sexually explicit videos of the 8-year-old victim while on a trip to the beach with the girl and her family in 2007. When authorities searched Cochran’s residence in 2008, they discovered the videos of the victim, as well as “hundreds of videos and images depicting what defendant knew was child pornography.”

Cochran previously was convicted of child molestation in Orange County Superior Court in 1991.


December 20, 2011

Riverside County Man Arrested for Possessing, Receiving, and Distributing Child Pornography Via File-Sharing Network

A Homeland man has been arrested on federal charges alleging he used a file sharing network to receive, possess, and distribute child pornography, announced Steven Martinez, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.

George Devinna, 73, was arrested Monday by FBI agents after being named in a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Riverside on December 9. During his initial court appearance Monday afternoon, Devinna was ordered detained without bond. An arraignment date is scheduled for January 18 at 9:30 a.m. in U.S. District Court in Riverside.

The complaint charges Devinna with the possession, distribution, and receipt of child pornography. If convicted on all charges, Devinna faces a statutory maximum penalty of 50 years in prison.

Earlier this year, agents conducting an investigation of illegal file-sharing networks in Rochester, New York, and Los Angeles uncovered several images depicting child pornography. Further investigation and subsequent Internet subscriber checks identified the distributor of the illicit images as George Devinna, with an address that matched the defendant’s Homeland address. The downloaded images linked to Devinna’s computer included sexually explicit photographs of pre-teen boys.

On December 2, 2011, a search warrant was executed at Devinna’s Homeland residence, where he resides alone. During the search, agents found child pornography and other evidence linking Devinna to the file sharing network. Files found on Devinna’s computer included sexually explicit videos involving pre-teen boys that investigators recognized as part of a documented child pornography series.

December 7, 2011

8 Inland Empire Child Pornography Suspects Arrested by ICE Agents

Ontario man allegedly possessed more than 500,000 explicit images

RIVERSIDE, California –  An Ontario pipefitter, who allegedly amassed one of the largest collections of child pornography ever found, is among eight Inland Empire men arrested this morning by federal agents as part of a coordinated enforcement effort targeting the possession and trafficking of child pornography.

Michael Peterson, 58, was taken into custody at his residence this morning by agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Peterson is charged in a three-count criminal complaint with possessing, receiving and distributing child pornography. In July, ICE HSI agents executed a search warrant at Peterson’s home and seized several computer hard drives and a laptop computer. A forensic analysis of those devices revealed more than 500,000 images and 7,500 videos of suspected child pornography. Peterson initially came under suspicion based on a lead obtained during an undercover investigation by Delaware-based HSI agents targeting a peer-to-peer file sharing network.

“Child exploitation crimes victimize the most vulnerable members of our society,” said United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. “The victimization of children for sexual purposes is one of the most heinous crimes imaginable, and that is why prosecuting child predators is one of the top priorities of the Justice Department.”

Debra Parker, the assistant special agent in charge for ICE HSI in Riverside and San Bernardino counties, stated: “Every time these illegal images are produced, transmitted or viewed, a child is victimized. We owe it to the young victims in these cases to pursue the offenders aggressively, since many of the children who are sexually exploited by those who produce child pornography will bear the emotional scars for rest of their lives.”


October 18, 2011


SANTA ANA - A registered sex offender was convicted today of molesting a 5-year-old boy in a public restroom. Nicholas James Needham, 28, Laguna Beach, pleaded guilty today to one felony count each of lewd acts on a child under 14. He is expected to be sentenced to six years in prison at his sentencing March 5, 2012, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-5, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

At approximately 12:45 p.m. on June 15, 2010, Needham entered a men’s restroom at the Outlets at Orange (formerly known as the Block at Orange). A 5-year-old boy, John Doe, was using the urinal while his mother waited outside. Needham stood next to the victim, reached over, and touched the victim’s penis. The defendant then left the scene.

Needham and the victim did not know each other.

John Doe disclosed the sexual assault to his mother, who contacted the Orange Police Department (OPD). OPD investigated the case.

In a subsequent search of the defendant’s home, OPD officers discovered thousands of images and three videos of graphic, amateur child pornography featuring young boys from infancy to early teens.

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office filed charges against Needham for the molestation and possession of child pornography. The U.S. Attorney’s Office later assumed the child pornography case, as the defendant’s maximum exposure if convicted would be greater than if prosecuted at the state level. That case is currently being prosecuted in federal court.

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