Man and woman arrested on suspicion of child molestation, child pornography

DESERT HOT SPRINGS – A man and woman accused of child molestation, along with making and distributing child pornography, are in custody facing felony charges, Desert Hot Springs police revealed Thursday, Aug. 31.

Michael Flaherty, 31, of Desert Hot Springs and Cynthia Fuentes, 21, of Coachella, were allegedly involved in the molestation of at least one child and the creation of at least one video related to child sexual abuse, according to Detective Christopher Tooth.

Following a joint probe with Homeland Security Investigations, Desert Hot Springs police arrested Flaherty Aug. 16 in Palm Springs. He was subsequently charged – and pleaded not guilty – to several felonies, including lewd acts on a child, using a minor for obscene matter and possession of child pornography.

He’s being held in lieu of $1.5 million bail and is due back in court on Sept. 21 for a felony settlement conference.

Further investigation into the alleged sexual abuse led police to arrest Fuentes Wednesday in Coachella. She was booked on suspicion of using a minor for obscene matter, possession of child pornography, lewd acts with a child and child endangerment, with bail set at $2.5 million. She’s expected to make her initial court appearance Friday, Sept. 1.

Police asked anyone with additional information regarding the case to contact Tooth at (760) 329-2904, ext. 352.

2 Responses to "Man and woman arrested on suspicion of child molestation, child pornography"

  1. Susan black   September 3, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Your stating the woman involved is Cynthia Fuentes 21 years old but the Valley News reports the woman to be Jeryn Christine Johnson 25 years old. Are all three involved or mixed up women’s names?
    Someone needs to correct what is reported so we as citizens and/or courts don’t blame the wrong people involved.
    In today’s society and communication online there should be no mistakes made especially putting someone’s reputation on the line that isn’t reported correctly to the public. If this is the issue…I feel public embarrassment for the woman wrongly reported. I would sue!!!

    • Kim Harris   September 3, 2017 at 3:48 pm

      Hi Susan, these are two totally different crime stories. Jeryn Christine Johnson is currently in jail under suspicion of child abuse from a case stemming in Murrieta, while Cynthia Fuentes is in custody facing felony charges of child molestation and child pornography on a case out of Desert Hot Springs. Terrible to report on these incidents, but they are separate cases, both horrific in their own right. Thanks for your comment. KH


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