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Child Exploitation
12/02/2011

Registered sex offender charged after viewing child pornography at public library

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A registered sex offender from Orange County made his initial appearance in federal court Thursday, following his arrest at a local public library where witnesses allegedly observed him viewing child pornography on one of the library's computers.

David Lavern Paine, 68, of Lake Forest, Calif., was taken into custody Wednesday by Orange County Sheriff's deputies at the public library in Aliso Viejo, Calif. Library officials notified authorities after observing an adult male viewing pornographic images that appeared to be children. The deputies, who responded immediately, found Paine at one of the library's public computers in the process of viewing child pornography. Paine is charged in a criminal complaint with knowingly accessing child pornography.

The investigation is being conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD) partners on the Orange County Child Exploitation Task Force.

According to the criminal complaint, when confronted by the deputies, Paine initially tried to lock the computer and appear like he did not know why he was being singled out. Upon further questioning, however, Paine stated he was looking at "nude women, young girls, bestiality and Russian nudists." When asked way he was doing it in a public library, he responded "because it's available."

Upon further examining the computer Paine was using, investigators found computer windows leading to numerous pornographic websites highlighting images of young girls.

"The allegation that this defendant was viewing child pornography in a public place where young people and their families congregate is beyond disturbing," said Joseph Macias, assistant special agent in charge for ICE HSI in Orange County. "ICE HSI will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners on the Orange County Child Exploitation Task Force to identify and bring to justice those who prey upon and sexually exploit innocent children online."

Sheriff Sandra Hutchens called the case appalling. "We will do whatever is necessary to keep child pornography out of our county and those who view it out of our public libraries and away from our children."

At his court appearance Thursday, Paine was ordered held without bond pending trial. Given his prior conviction for possession of child pornography, he now faces a mandatory 10-year minimum sentence if convicted of the current charge.

Paine's is the twentieth arrest by the Orange County Child Exploitation Task Force since its inception seven months ago. The Task Force allows law enforcement agencies to combine their unique authorities and information-sharing capabilities to investigate and arrest child pornographers, child sex tourists and facilitators, human smugglers and traffickers of minors, criminal aliens convicted of offenses against minors, and aliens deported for child exploitation offenses who have returned to the U.S. illegally.

The public is encouraged to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through ICE's toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, a Task Force partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.