Pre-trial hearing set for alleged child molester |

Pre-trial hearing set for alleged child molester

The preliminary hearing for a Grass Valley man charged with 21 counts of aggravated child molestation has been scheduled for mid-summer as prosecutors sort through a mountain of evidence collected by investigators.

Luis Ponce, 49, was arrested in January after Nevada County Sheriff’s investigators searched his home on Rattlesnake Road and allegedly found several computer discs with images of children being sexually exploited.

Berkeley Police Department detectives also searched Ponce’s locker at a Berkeley fire station where he commuted to work as a paramedic supervisor, and found four video tapes containing footage of Ponce allegedly molesting young children and more than 100 computer discs of child pornography.

Since his arrest, Ponce’s wife has filed for divorce, obtained a restraining order and requested that Ponce be kept at Santa Rita Jail in Oakland so he is not able to call her at home collect.

Ponce is transported to Nevada County only for his court appearances, an investigator said.

Ponce was not present in court Thursday, but was represented by his attorney.

Deputy District Attorney Charles O’Rourke told Judge John Darlington he needed sufficient time to review evidence collected by Nevada County Sheriff’s detectives.

“There is quite a bit of material to go through,” O’Rourke said.

“It looks like it from the charges,” Darlington said.

Ponce’s preliminary hearing is set for 9 a.m. July 25.


To contact staff writer Robyn Moormeister, e-mail robynm@ or call 477-4236.

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