Recently, the Riverside County Child Exploitation Team (RCCT), a team made up of members from multiple law enforcement agencies, arrested 26 suspects during a month-long investigation.
Over the month of April, 52 sex offender compliance checks were conducted to make sure that registered sex offenders were following the rules set forth for them. 5 arrests were made of individuals who were violating parole and another 13 for failing to register as sex offenders.
An online sting operation was conducted that netted a sex offender from San Diego. The suspect set up a real-life meeting with what he thought was a child, only to find out that it was a bunch of police. He was subsequently arrested.
Search warrants related to the possession of child pornography were served all over Riverside County and resulted in the arrest of six suspects, one of whom was already a registered sex offender.
Child pornography is covered under California Penal Code 311 PC which makes it illegal to send, transport, duplicate, print, advertise, or possess child pornography. Charges associated with PC 311 are usually “wobblers” that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, or are straight felonies.
Misdemeanor charges carry the potential penalties of up to 1 year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500. Felony cases are usually charged by up to 3 years in California state prison and having to register as a sex offender.
Interestingly, a person who has been convicted of violating PC 311 can have their conviction expunged. As long as they successfully complete probation and/or their jail term, it is possible to have the conviction expunged under California Penal Code 1203.4. Should the crime be expunged, the defendant will be released from “virtually all penalties and disabilities” arising from the conviction.
It’s unknown whether the suspects arrested as a result of the investigation will be charged with misdemeanors or felonies. It’s likely that those who were found to be in violation of the conditions of their parole.