Castaic man arrested on suspicion of possessing child pornography 

The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station. Courtesy of the city of Santa Clarita.
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Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies arrested a Castaic man on suspicion of possessing child pornography Friday. 

Peter Lavelle, 75, a retired ambulance operator, was taken into custody following a monthslong investigation into a felony charge of 311.11(A): “Every person who knowingly possesses … any image that contains or incorporates in any manner … depicts a person under 18 years of age personally engaging in or simulating sexual conduct … is guilty of a felony.” 

The alleged offense date was in September 2020, according to Sgt. David Payne of the Sheriff’s Department’s Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement, or SAFE team, which investigates child sexual abuse that has an internet nexus. The team is part of the Human Trafficking Task Force in the LASD’s Special Victims Bureau. 

The team frequently receives information about suspected illegal behavior from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Payne said, and the information can take months for investigators as they wait through a queue of similar subpoena requests for tech companies.  

A warrant for Lavelle’s arrest was issued in February 2021, Payne said, and deputies ultimately caught up with him over the weekend.  

Station officials were not immediately available to discuss how Lavelle was taken into custody. 

He’s still in custody at Twin Towers Correctional Facility in lieu of $20,000 bail, according to LASD arrest records available online Monday evening. 

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