By Darrell Todd Maurina
A 30-year-old woman will be arraigned this afternoon in Curry County District Court following the discovery of photographs that show her sexually abusing a child, officials said.
According to an arrest warrant filed Monday with the court, Clovis police arrived about 12:45 p.m. Monday at an elementary school and were presented with an envelope addressed to the Children, Youth and Families Division. The envelope contained digital photos showing an adult female sexually abusing a child.
The envelope also contained an unsigned note asking for help and help for her children, and had a return address later identified as belonging to the Clovis woman who was arrested.
The letter said more photos could be obtained at the woman’s home and that of her grandmother. Ninth Judicial District Attorney Brett Carter said investigators hadn’t yet determined who sent the letter addressed to CYFD officials.
Police arrested the woman about three hours later on a charge of sexual exploitation of children. On Thursday, she remained in the Curry County Adult Detention Center in lieu of $50,000 bond.
Police said they also found photos of the woman performing sexual acts with a dog.
“I’ve been a prosecutor for 17 years and this is the first time we’ve seen a case involving sex with animals,” Carter said. “In my 17 years I thought I’d seen just about everything and then this case comes over.”
Carter said he is looking into charges related to sex acts with an animal, but no such charges had been filed on Thursday. He said he plans to raise the issue of bestiality during today’s bond hearing, contending the circumstances should result in a high bond for the accused.
The woman’s grandfather said he didn’t want to talk about the case.
“That is in the hands of the court and I am not going to comment further,” he said.
Carter said the charge carries a maximum sentence of nine years.
Carter said the child in the photos is between the age of 6 and 12. The photos he’s seen do not show the child and the dog together, Carter said.
“We deal with shocking cases just about every day but I think this is one of the ones that is more disturbing than most,” Carter said. “It is disturbing, and the thing we also need to look at is the effect this is going to have on (the) child.”
Carter said the child in the photographs was taken into custody by CYFD but he was not certain of current custody arrangements.