MADERA COUNTY — A Madera County woman was arrested this week on charges of possession of “child sexual abuse materials.” The arrest came after the Madera County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division received a tip from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children regarding internet child sexual abuse material activity in Madera County.
As a result of this tip an investigation was conducted which identified a residence in the 700 block of Blue Oak Lane in Riverstone as a possible source of images of child sexual abuse activity, according to Deputy Sarah Jackson, MCSO public information officer.
On Thursday (April 16), MCSO detectives together with representatives of the Central California ICAC Task Force served a search warrant at the residence.
After a search of electronic devices located at the home, detectives arrested Kristine Mettler, 45, for possession and distribution of child pornography.
Mettler was booked into the Madera County Department of Corrections without incident for the felony violation, with bail set at $25,000.
According to court records, bail was subsequently posted and Mettler has been released.
“The Madera County Sheriff’s Office maintains an active relationship with the Central California Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and is committed to relentlessly pursuing offenders who utilize the internet to victimize children,” said Deputy Jackson, adding that law enforcement officials have begun using new “terminology” in cases involving child pornography.
“The California Penal Code still designates the crime as ‘child pornography,’” she said. “But there has been a shift toward [using the term] ‘child sexual abuse material/images.’ The purpose in this shift is to be clear that the child victims involved are not consenting, willing participants but real victims in every sense.”
MCSO is asking anyone with information regarding this case or other victims to please contact the Sheriff’s Office at 559-675-7770.