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VALLEY FOCUS | Sun Valley

Child Pornography Suspect Arrested

April 25, 1998|TOM BECKER

A 44-year-old Sun Valley man was arrested Friday for allegedly downloading child pornography via the Internet.

David Luera, who is currently in custody in lieu of $30,000 bail at the LAPD's Sexually Exploited Child Unit, could face up to six years in prison if convicted.

It is the second time Luera has been arrested for allegedly possessing child pornography videos and still photographs. In 1995, Luera became the first person in Los Angeles charged with possessing child pornography obtained via the Internet, said Det. Lina Pirro, an investigator on the case.

He pleaded no contest in June 1995 to a misdemeanor in the first case and was sentenced to three years of probation, fined $1,350 and ordered to perform 240 hours of community service.

In addition, the judge ordered Luera to register as a sex offender and forfeit his home computer equipment.

The fact that Luera is being charged with a second offense makes it a felony case, Pirro said.

"Pedophiles are always repeat offenders," she said. "They'll always brag about their acts with other pedophiles."

Pirro said the unit was notified by a citizen informant that Luera had downloaded the material. Pirro said that Luera had corresponded extensively with other pedophiles describing his possessions.

"It was more than enough probable cause to write a search warrant," Pirro said.

Since Luera made Los Angeles criminal history with the first Internet-child pornography case in 1995, there have been several hundred similar cases in the city, Pirro said.

Along with those cases, the unit investigates child prostitution rings and other cases involving sexually exploited children.

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