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Woman arrested in child pornography case

January 4, 2013 | 10:40 am

Federal authorities arrested a woman in a case involving two people suspected of producing child pornography in the San Fernando Valley more than 11 years ago, authorities announced Friday.

Letha Mae Montemayor, 52, was arrested outside her apartment complex in North Hills about 7:30 p.m. Thursday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and Los Angeles Police Department officers, according to a statement.

Montemayor was arrested fewer than 10 hours after authorities released photographs of a man and woman believed to be connected to the production of a widely circulated series of child pornography images. More than 14 photos depict a man and woman sexually assaulting a girl who appears to be about 13 years old, according to an affidavit.

About 2 p.m. Thursday, agents received the first call to a tip line regarding the woman’s identity.

Montemayor faces charges of conspiracy to produce child pornography and production of child pornography. Each count carries a minimum penalty of 15 years. Montemayor is expected to appear in federal court Friday afternoon. 

Authorities are still searching for the male suspect in the case. He is believed to be 40 to 50 years old with a medium to heavy build with graying brown hair.

Authorities said the photos are connected to more than 275 child pornography investigations across the country. The images were made public as part of “Operation Sunflower,” an effort to identify and rescue individuals depicted in child pornography.

Since November, officials have identified 123 victims, including five under the age of 3, in the initiative.

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-- Nicole Santa Cruz

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