Orange County

Firefighter Charged With Groping Girl in Newport Beach, Having Child Porn

Authorities are asking for the public's help in identifying additional potential victims.

OC District Attorney

A U.S. Forest Service firefighter was behind bars Thursday on charges of possession of child pornography and groping a 12-year-old girl in Newport Beach.

Authorities are asking for the public's help in identifying additional potential victims.

Jacob Daniel Carothers, 38, of San Jacinto, was arrested Wednesday on a warrant by Newport Beach police and was being held on $100,000 bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Monday.

Carothers is charged with one count of possession of child pornography and two counts of lewd acts on a child younger than 14, all felonies. He could face up to 10 years and eight months in prison if convicted at trial.

Carothers, who was assigned to the Cleveland National Forest and has been a federal firefighter for 16 years, is accused of riding by on a bicycle and grabbing a 12-year-old girl on two separate occasions as she and her swimwear-clad friends walked on Balboa Peninsula on May 29, according to the Orange County District Attorney's Office.

Carothers allegedly fled the scene on his bike was found by police in an alley nearby. When police arrested him, they found the defendant was allegedly in possession of a "significant amount of pornographic photos and videos'' involving children.

“We rely on firefighters to come to our aid when our homes are on fire and our lives are at risk. We hand firefighters choking babies and expect them to breathe life back into them. We count on them to keep our homes from burning to the ground and prevent lifetimes of memories from being reduced to ash,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “Unfortunately, not everyone who takes the oath to become a firefighter is worthy of having the public’s trust.

Children enjoying a summer day at the beach with their friends should not have to worry about being assaulted by a predator, especially one who took an oath to safeguard lives.”

Investigators suspect there may be more victims and asked anyone who has relevant information to call Detective Kelley Masllin at 949-644-3776.

Deputy District Attorney Juliet Oliver of the Sexual Assault Unit is prosecuting this case.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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