Suspect’s wife gets restraining order |

Suspect’s wife gets restraining order

The wife of accused child molester Luis Ponce was granted a restraining order against her husband and physical custody of the couple’s six adopted children.

Luis Ponce, who is in custody in Santa Rita Jail in Alameda County on $3 million bail, will not be allowed within 100 yards of his wife, Katheryn, or their six children ages 5-15, ruled Nevada County Superior Court Judge Sean Dowling in a 10:30 a.m. hearing Tuesday.

The restraining order is effective up to five years, and expires on Feb. 14, 2011.

“(Ponce) has obviously lived a whole other life I know nothing about,” wrote Katheryn Ponce in her request for the order. “I must protect my children from any potential abuse or exploitation until this is tried through the justice system.”

She declined to comment Tuesday about the order or Ponce’s probability of posting bond for his release.

Ponce has a dual citizenship for the United States and Mexico, and Mrs. Ponce told investigators it is a possibility Ponce could leave the country if he is released from jail.

Ponce was arrested Jan. 26 after investigators searched his Grass Valley home on the 13000 block of Rattlesnake Road and locker at Berkeley Fire Department and allegedly found evidence of child pornography, including more than 100 computer discs and four videotapes.

Ponce is suspended from his job as a paramedic supervisor for the City of Berkeley.

Last week, the Nevada County District Attorney’s Office filed 21 various charges of felony aggravated child molestation against Ponce based on the evidence collected.

Nevada County Sheriff’s Lt. Ron Smith said investigators will recommend the DA file several more charges by the end of this week.

The video footage, which allegedly shows at least two girls being molested by Ponce, has taken an emotional toll on investigators, Smith said.

“Nobody wants to look at that stuff,” he said. “It’s disturbing.”

Once Ponce faces 57 charges of child pornography in Alameda County – for which he is scheduled to enter a plea today – he will be transferred by local authorities to Nevada County to face the felony child molestation charges.

The restraining order stipulates that if Ponce is cleared of criminal charges, he may request to establish a “parental plan” involving his six adopted children.

Anyone with information about children who have spent time at the Ponce household for parties, sleepovers, etc., Smith said, should call the Nevada County Sheriff’s Investigation Division at 265-1263.


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

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