Rash Of Sex Crime Arrests In Apple Valley, Barstow, Chino And Fontana

There has been a rash of arrests in San Bernardino County of individuals charged with sex crimes in recent days and weeks.
On January 14, Aaron Cardenas, 24 of Fontana, was arrested on a charge of lewd acts with a minor. His arrest came one month after he was charged, on December 14, 2020, with rape by force, sodomy by force, and sexual penetration with force. Those charges were leveled against him after he was identified the previous day, December 13, as a suspect in a reported rape in Fontana, police said. During the investigation, it was determined that Cardenas sexually assaulted an adult female with developmental disabilities.
Cardenas was released, but earlier this month, Fontana police learned that he was being investigated by the Torrance Police Department for the suspected sexual abuse of a minor. Torrance investigators reportedly turned up multiple incidents of sexual abuse of a 13-year-old girl.
Cardenas used social media, investigators said, including Instagram under the name “air_enn” to communicate with the alleged victim and falsely represent his age and appearance as a minor.
Cardenas has also been charged with possessing and distributing child pornography he is believed to have generated himself.
Detectives are seeking any information related to potential additional victims.
Cardenas is in custody, subject to a bail enhancement that will make it very difficult for him to be freed before he stands trial.
The day before Cardenas’ most recent arrest, January 13, 57-year-old Francisco Monterrey of Fontana was arrested on child pornography charges, according to the Fontana Police Department.
Detectives with the Fontana Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force discovered that Monterrey was downloading and distributing child pornography over the Internet. It was not disclosed whether Monterrey’s arrest was related to that of Cardenas.
Detectives served a search warrant at Monterrey’s residence in the 8200 block of Cherry Avenue, seizing several electronic devices. Monterrey was booked at West Valley Detention Center. It has been determined that Monterrey used the Facebook screen name of “Kiko2718,” the Kik screen name “Choix9” and the WhatsApp screen name “Franny” to make contact with either victims or provide or obtain illicit images.
On January 13, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, who since the previous day had been looking into allegations of a girl being sexually molested, served a search warrant at the Apple Valley home of 68-year-old George Mantooth
Evidence collected during the January 13 search confirmed that Mantooth had sexual contact with at least two underage girls. Deputies from the Apple Valley Sheriff’s Station returned to Mantooth’s home and arrested him on January 14.
Mantooth was booked into the High Desert Detention Center in Adelanto on suspicion of sexual abuse of a child, incest, oral copulation and lewd and lascivious act with a child under 14.
An older victim has been identified, whom, investigators say, Mantooth raped continuously from the age of 13 to adulthood.
Mantooth likely has victimized others, according to the sheriff’s department.
“Manthooth is believed to be a sexual predator,” the sheriff’s department said in a statement. “Investigators believe there may be additional juvenile victims.”
Mantooth is being held in lieu of $350,000 bail.
On January 15, 28-year-old Mario Renteria of Lenwood was charged with 14 counts of sexual abuse.
Renteria’s arraignment by video took place a week ago Friday. He pleaded not guilty to the 14 felony counts, ten of which are listed as ones involving an aggravated circumstance. The charges against him consist of five counts of lewd or lascivious acts, three counts of sexual penetration/oral copulation, two counts of sexual intercourse/sodomy, two counts of rape by force or fear, sodomy and sexual abuse of a child.
Documentation relating to the case indicates the acts alleged took place on at least ten different occasions over a seven-year period. It is not clear how the earliest crimes were brought in under the statute of limitations. The earliest charge pertains to a sexual assault that took place in 2013. There were two further incidents in 2014, four in 2016 and 2017, and three in 2020.
Left unaddressed is whether the charges pertain to one, two or three victims, at least two of whom were under the age of majority at the time of Renteria’s alleged sexual depredations.
“The sexual abuse consisted of inappropriate touching, oral copulation, rape, and digital penetration, which occurred over several years,” Sheriff’s officials said in a statement. “Detectives also learned of two additional female victims.”
He is being held on $7 million bail at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga.
Renteria is also known as Mario Renteria Junior Gallegos. He was taken into custody by sheriff’s deputes from the Barstow station at his home in the 34200 block of Birch Road on January 13.
On January 17, the Chino Police Department arrested Edgar Uriel Estrada, 27 of Moreno Valley, on charges of sexual penetration with force.
Estrada, a massage therapist, is charged with assaulting a woman during a massage at a spa in the 3900 block of Grand Avenue in Chino on Sunday.
The female victim came to the Chino Police Department headquarters at 1:49 p.m. to report she had been sexually assaulted by her massage therapist at the massage clinic. Efforts were made to identify Estrada, who was summoned to the police station by a detective. When he arrived at the headquarters around 9 p.m., a further investigation including questioning of Estrada took place. He was arrested at 9:29 p.m. and booked at 1:08 a.m. Monday on $200,000 bail at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga.
-Mark Gutglueck

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