Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims today announced the arrest of 25 year old Steven Christopher Montes of Visalia for production and possession of child pornography.
The investigation began on Friday, August 8, 2014 at about 10:45 a.m. when school administrators from Riverdale High School notified the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office of a teacher filming unsuspecting students while they changed clothes in a school classroom. A female student at the high school discovered the recording device after she was asked to change into various band outfits at the direction of Montes. The student immediately notified school administrators who took immediate action.
Investigators from the Central California Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, including detectives from the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, Kings County District Attorney’s Office, Visalia Police and federal agents from Homeland Security Investigations(HIS) responded. Several computers were seized from the school and a search warrant was served at a residence in the City of Visalia, where Montes had been living. Several additional computers and other media devices were recovered from various locations during the investigation.
Montes had been a teacher and band director at Riverdale High School and Riverdale Elementary School since the start of the 2013-14 school years. Prior to that, he was a teacher at Divisadero Middle School in Visalia.
Montes was arrested for several counts of Producing and Possessing child pornography and transported to the Fresno County Jail where he has since posted bail.
Detectives believe there could be additional victims from both the Riverdale area and City of Visalia where Montes worked as a band teacher. Anyone with information is asked to contact Fresno County Sheriff’s Detective David Rippe at (559) 487-6027 or Crime Stoppers at (559)498-STOP (7867).
Central California ICAC is a Federal and State grant funded Task Force comprised of 59 various Federal and State law enforcement agencies from across a nine county area of Central California. The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office serves as the lead agency. Central California ICAC is dedicated to protecting child online and preventing the sexual exploitation of children in our communities. For more information go to www.centralcaliforniaicac.org or contact Fresno County Sheriff’s Sergeant Jeff Kertson at (559)600-8144.