Former Paramedic Guilty of Child Molestation

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Date: 2007-05-31

Former Paramedic Guilty of Child Molestation

By Amanda Ott
Thursday, May 31, 2007 | 12:00 am

A former paramedic with the Berkeley Fire Department was found guilty last week of 16 child molestation charges and as a result could spend the rest of his life in prison.

Luis Ponce, Jr., 50, is awaiting a June 9 sentencing in Nevada County, where he is expected to receive between 135 years to life in prison, said Nevada County Deputy District Attorney Charles O’Rourke.

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“That ought to keep him out of circulation, which is to the benefit of children who he might come into contact with,” O’Rourke said.

Ponce was found guilty of nine charges of aggravated sexual assault upon a child under 14, eight involving oral copulation and one of rape. He was also found guilty of three counts of sexual penetration with a foreign object on an unconscious person and one count of lewd or lascivious act upon a child.

Of a total of three charges of forcible lewd or lascivious acts upon a child, he was found guilty of one. The remaining two charges were reduced to lewd or lascivious act upon a child with substantial sexual conduct charges, and he was found guilty of both.

Ponce’s attorney David Billingsley did not return phone calls for comment yesterday.

Ponce and his now ex-wife, Katheryn Kray, had six adopted children, O’Rourke said. The trial showed evidence of molestation of two of them, he said.

After learning of the charges against her husband, Kray filed for divorce and filed a restraining order against Ponce, O’Rourke said.

Ponce was charged with possession of child pornography in Alameda County last year, but due to the law at the time they were filed, all were misdemeanor charges, O’Rourke said.

“The Alameda County charges will probably be dismissed because he will be receiving extensive charges here in Nevada County,” he said.

Ponce videotaped himself molesting the children in Nevada County, and then took the videos to work with him in Berkeley, O’Rourke said.

Ponce pleaded not guilty to the 57 misdemeanor counts of possession of child pornography in Alameda County. Officials wanted to proceed with the Nevada County charges before concluding the Alameda County case because the Nevada County charges are more serious, O’Rourke said.

“What they discovered (in Berkeley) gave us the evidence for our trial up here,” O’Rourke said.


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