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Woman linked to child sex abuse case captured after 11 years

Published On: Jan 04 2013 12:38:14 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 04 2013 12:44:06 PM CST
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -

Investigators are still looking for a man shown in several photographs tied to an 11-year-old child sex abuse and pornography case in the San Fernando Valley.

A woman who was also shown in several of those photos was arrested last night. Letha Mae Montemayor, 52, was arrested outside an apartment complex in North Hills at about 7:30 p.m. Thursday by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security Investigations agents, along with Los Angeles Police Department officers.

"Montemayor's arrest came less than 10 hours after HSI and the U.S.
Attorney's Office released photographs of an unidentified man and woman, known only as "Jane Doe" and "John Doe," sought in connection with a child sexual exploitation case,"  ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice said.

Meanwhile, investigators continue to look for a male suspect in the case. The male in the photos appears to be between 40 and 50.

The apparent break in the case comes after federal authorities in Los Angeles asked the public's help Thursday in identifying a man and woman charged with producing child pornography in the San Fernando Valley.
      
A criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court against the unidentified defendants, whose pictures were made public, involves a widely
circulated series of child porn images believed to have been taken about 11 years ago in Encino and elsewhere in the region.
      
While a girl being sexually abused in the images is now likely an adult, authorities continued to pursue the case for several reasons, including bringing the defendants to justice and preventing the abuse of additional victims.
    

"The images in this series have been identified in connection with more than 275 child pornography investigations across the country," said Claude
Arnold, special agent in charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Los Angeles. "The reality is, every time a photo or a video of an innocent child being sexually exploited is viewed, that victim is violated again," he said.

The child pornography images in this case were first discovered by U.S. Homeland Security Investigations agents in Chicago in 2007. The material was submitted to the Child Victim Identification Program, which determined the victim had not yet been identified and was not linked with other known child pornography images.
      
The announcement of the case against "John and Jane Doe" was made in relation to HSI's Operation Sunflower, a recently concluded enforcement action aimed at rescuing victims and targeting individuals who own, trade and produce child pornography, officials said.