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North Hills Woman Indicted on Charges of Child Porn, Sex Trafficking

If convicted of all charges against her, Letha Montemayor Tucker would face a sentence of at least 10 years to as much as life in prison.

A federal grand jury on Tuesday returned a four-count indictment of a North Hills woman accused of a litany of child and sex-related charges.

Letha Montemayor Tucker, 52, identified last month as one of two suspects sought in connection with a child pornography case tied to the San Fernando Valley, was indicted on federal charges of conspiracy to produce child pornography, production of child pornography, consipracy to engage in child sex trafficking and sex trafficking of children, according to a statement issued by the United States Attorney's Office.

If she is convicted of all charges, Tucker would face a minimum prison sentence of 10 years, but could be sentenced to as much as life in federal prison.

The indictment comes one month after tips provided by the public resulted in the identification of Tucker as one of two individuals allegedly involved in the production of a widely circulated series of child pornography images taken about 11 years ago. The pictures show an adult man, "John Doe," and a woman, now believed to be Tucker, sexually molesting a girl whom investigators have now confirmed was between 11 and 13 at the time the images were taken, the U.S. Attorney's statement said.

According to the indictment, between 2000 and 2001, both Tucker, who uses the nickname Butterfly, and the victim lived in a residential hotel in the Los Angeles area.

The indictment alleges that Tucker, working as a prostitute, provided the victim with crack cocaine and, on multiple occasions, directed the child to engage in sexual acts with Tucker's male clients.

In or about May 2001, the indictment states Tucker contacted “John Doe” and asked whether he would be interested in having sex with the victim in exchange for money. Subsequently, Tucker brought the victim to "John Doe’s" residence. There the defendant and "John Doe" engaged in sexual acts with the victim and photographed the encounter, the U.S. Attorney's statement said.

Based upon forensic analysis conducted by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, investigators believe that the images—which were first discovered by Homeland Security Investigations special agents in Chicago in 2007— were produced in the Los Angeles area, specifically in the San Fernando Valley.

As a result of leads provided by the public, special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations located the victim within a week after the case was announced on Jan. 3. She is safe and is cooperating with the ongoing investigation.

“The victim in this case was devastated when she learned from investigators that these sexually explicit images had been distributed over the Internet,” said ICE Director John Morton. “The reality is, every time such images are viewed, the children shown are exploited yet again.”

The identity and whereabouts of "John Doe" remain unknown. In the images in the child pornography series, his face has been purposely obscured, but he appears to be a 40- to 50-year-old white male, who would now be approximately 11 years older, according to the U.S. Attorney's statement.

Investigators are asking anyone with information that could assist in the ongoing investigation to call 1-866-DHS-2ICE or visit the ICE website.

Tucker, who is currently being held without bond, is scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment in United States District Court on Feb. 13.

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