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cr> Net-porn ring apprehended

Sender: madavis@deliberate.com (Marilyn Davis)

Yesterday and today the front page of the SJMN ran a story about a
net-porn ring that was apprehended.

I'll type some of it for your consideration.

If it wasn't for the internet, only one child molester would have been
caught instead of 16.

Marilyn Davis

-----  some of the article ----

Net-porn ring traded stories at 'pedo party'

Suspects recruited family members, papers indicate

By Brandon Bailey 
Mercury News Staff Writer

It was a horrifying "summit," authorities said: Three out-of-state men
accused of belonging to an Internet child-pronography ring got
together last April at the home of a fourth in Santa Rosa.

At the meeting the members of the so-called Orchid Club allegedly
traded stories about pre-teen girls they had molested and photographed
in sexually explicit poses, authorities say.  They even showed off a
large poster mounted with photos of eight girls who appeared to be no
older than 10.  Investigators called it a "victim board."

The summit, which the host reportedly labeled a "pedo party," is
described in court documents that shed further light on a federal
indictmend issued this week in San Jose.  All told, the indictment
charges 16 men with an international conspiracy to produce and
exchange homemade child pornography over the Internet.

The documents suggest a parent's nightmare

[skipping a bunch]

But officials also said much of their case is built on old-fashioned
detective work.  They interviewed victims and suspects who led them
to more suspects.

How case unfolded

It began with what Monterey County sheriff's Lt. Dave Allard called
child molestation "in the more traditional sense."  A mother in the
Monterey County town of Greenfied reported on April 5 that her
6-year-old daughter had beeen touched inappropriately during a slumber
party at the nearby home of Ronald Riva, a well-known father of four
who inadvertently became the linchpin of the federal investigation.

Sheriff's investigators interviewed Riva, 38, who once worked as a
state prison guard but more recently earned a living driving farm
trucks in the Salinas Valley.  They also talked with other girls who
attended the party, which was hosted by Riva's 8-year-old daughter.
Monterey County prosecutor Edward Hazel said some of those girls led
detectives to more victims.

Local authorities arreste Rival on April 7 and eventually charged him
with molesting five girls, ages 4 to 10, some of them repeatedly over
the last five years.  None of those children was his own.  Officials
say the molestations occurred under circumstances they characterize as
psychological manipulation, rather than physical coercion.

[some skipped]

But the case didn't end there.  According to an investigator's
affidavit, one of the girls told of a second man who helped fondle and
photograph her at Riva's house.  With the consent of Riva'wife,
deputies say they searched Riva's computer files and found some of
those photos.  After talking with Riva and his wife, investigators
identified the second man as Melton Lee Myers of Santa Rosa, who was
convicted on two counts of child molestation in the '70s.

April 22 arrest

Monterey County deputies arrested Myers on April 22.  Just two days
before, according to the federal affidavits, Myers had hosted the
videotaped "pedo party" for three other alleged Orchid Club members at
his home.

Federal investigators say they later learned from computer files that
Riva had chatted on the Internet about planning to attend that meeting
and about the possibility ...

[some skipped]

In Riva's computer, for example, investigators found records of
Internet chat sessions in which Riva and someone named Billyj
described ... With a subpoena to the commericial Intrnet service that
Billyj used for e-mail, agents identified him as Paul Laney, 34.

After agents found him at home in Yuba City, ... led them to other
Internet contacts.

Authorities say they moved quickly to locate other members of the
group -- in Oklahoma, Mississippi, Massachusetts, Michigan, Illinois,
Minnesota, Kansas and Washington.  Officials said two suspects
cooperated ...  Three other suspects haven't been identified but are
believed to live in Finland, Australia and Canada.

[rest skipped]


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