Los Angeles: A 39-year-old North Hollywood man, and Licensed Attorney with the State of California, Bar Association, has been arrested for the Attempted Sexual Exploitation of a Minor. The arrest came during a sting conducted by the Los Angeles Police Department’s, Juvenile Division, Internet Crimes Against Children Unit (ICAC), with the help of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Child Exploitation Group.
On Tuesday, August 17, 2010, Eduardo Leaton was arrested after exchanging sexually explicit emails with an undercover police detective posing as a 16-year-old minor from Georgia, whom Leaton had been corresponding with since the victim was 13-years of age. During the exchange of emails with the undercover detective, who he thought was the 16-year-old victim, Leaton coordinated a meeting for the purpose of having sex with the minor. When Leaton arrived at the meeting location he was taken into custody without incident.
Immediately after Leaton’s arrest, detectives armed with a search warrant, searched Leaton’s North Hollywood home were they recovered numerous items of evidence. A search of Leaton’s computer also showed supporting evidence that he was actively engaged in Internet chats and emails with hundreds of “friends” who are believed to be under-aged females.
The ICAC Unit wants to remind parents and caregivers to be vigilant in monitoring the computer use of children in their care. There are those in society who will use every means available to prey on the youth and innocence of children. Social networking websites have become popular among school-age children and predators alike. We must all strive to keep our children safe.
This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information regarding this crime or information regarding possible additional victims is asked to contact the LAPD’s ICAC Unit Officer in Charge, Lieutenant Andrea Grossman, at 562-624-4028. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crimestoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.