3 Men Charged in Alleged Child Porn Ring Accused of Approaching Boys at Riverside County Skate Park

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The arrest last month of a Nevada man on the run from a federal child pornography indictment led to charges against two Southern California men who were part of a ring of human traffickers with victims were under 10 years old, authorities announced Tuesday.

William Clyde Thompson, John David Yoder, and Erick Alan Monsivais are all suspected of involvement in a human trafficking and child pornography ring. They are shown in photos released Feb. 17, 2015, by the Riverside County DA’s office.

William Clyde Thompson, John David Yoder, and Erick Alan Monsivais are all suspected of involvement in a human trafficking and child pornography ring. They are shown in photos released Feb. 17, 2015, by the Riverside County DA’s office.

William Clyde Thompson, 54, of Las Vegas, was taken into custody in Needles on Jan. 27 while using an alias, according to a news release from the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.

He had been wanted since September 2013, when he failed to appear in court after fleeing house arrest; he was indicted in federal court at that time on child pornography and child exploitation charges.

At the time of his arrest in Needles, Thompson’s phone had numbers for John David Yoder, 43, of Desert Hot Springs, and Erick Alan Monsivais, 29, of Los Angeles.

Investigators believed that Thompson sought to recruit young boys to appear in pornography by hanging out a skate parks and other venues frequented by teens and children.

He was a “prolific child pornographer,” sheriff's investigator Andy Liu said at a news conference in Riverside on Tuesday.

Thompson was suspected of paying Yoder to recruit boys to be photographed, according to the DA’s office.

Thompson and Yoder were identified by investigators as having in March 2014 approached boys at a Desert Hot Springs skate park — incidents that prompted complaints to police at the time but no arrests.

Monsivais was also suspected of approaching boys at parks and discussing modeling contracts, authorities said at a news conference Tuesday.

"These three individuals were in the parks, approaching children," said District Attorney Mike Hestrin. "They were actively approaching children to exploit them sexually."

Hestrin asked parents who think they may have seen any of the three men with children to contact investigators.

Yoder has adopted sons, is a licensed foster care provider in Riverside County and is a special education teacher’s assistant at Desert Hot Springs High School in the Palm Springs Unified School District.

Yoder was placed on leave without pay pending the outcome of the prosecution, the school district said. The Riverside County Department of Public Social Services was cooperating with investigators, as was the school district, according to statements from both agencies provided by the DA's office.

Yoder pleaded not guilty on Feb. 9 in Indio to one count each of oral copulation of a child under 14, human trafficking of a victim under 18, conspiracy, lewd acts with a child under 14, and aiding to avoid the arrest of another. If convicted as currently charged, Yoder faces up to 35 years to life in prison.

Monsivais was arrested Feb. 2 after a search warrant was served at his home in L.A.

He pleaded not guilty on Feb. 5 in Indio to charges that include four counts of sexual intercourse or sodomy with a victim 10 years old or younger, three counts of oral copulation by force or fear of a child under 14, and one count each of lewd acts on a minor under 14 by force or fear, and of human trafficking of a victim under 18.

If convicted as charged, Monsivais faces up to 167 years to life in prison.

Felony settlement conferences for Yoder and Monsivais were scheduled for Thursday.

Thompson was being held on federal charges in Nevada and has not been arraigned in Riverside County, but a criminal complaint filed against him Tuesday included a long list of charges: one count each of sexual intercourse or sodomy with a victim 10 years old or younger, oral copulation or sexual penetration with a victim 10 or younger, sexual assault of a child under 14, lewd and lascivious acts against a child under 14, procurement of a child under 16 for lewd and lascivious acts, human trafficking of a victim under 18, use of a minor to perform prohibited acts, sending or bringing into the state child pornography, and conspiracy to commit child pornography.

If convicted as currently charged in Riverside County, Thompson faces up to 85 years to life in prison.

Authorities believe at least one underage boy was abused by Thompson in Desert Hot Springs as well as in Orange and L.A. counties.

Anyone who has information about suspicious activity on the part of the defendants was asked to call the Riverside County Sexual Assault and Felony Enforcement/Internet Crimes Against Children (SAFE/ICAC) task force at 866-723-3595.