William Clyde Thompson, John David Yoder and Erick Alan Monsivais
BANNING – Following a year-long trial process, a jury convicted one of the defendants in a Desert Hot Springs human trafficking case.
On Wednesday February 17 a Riverside County Superior Court jury in Banning found John David Yoder, 44, of Desert Hot Springs, guilty of 10 counts of lewd act with a child under 14, persuading a child in a lewd act and human trafficking. The jury found Yoder not guilty of one human trafficking charge.
According to John Hall, the district attorney’s spokesman, Yoder could face nearly 30 years in state prison.
According to the Press Enterprise, District Attorney Mike Hestrin described the accusations against Yoder a year ago. Hestrin described scenarios where Yoder and a second defendant would approach young male victims at skate parks and other youth hangouts, attempting to recruit them for a modeling business, which did not exist. The youth were then lured to participate in the production of child pornography.
Several of these victims testified in the trial, but remained identified only as “John Doe” with a number
Yoder reportedly worked as a teaching assistant for special education students in a Coachella Valley school during the period of these crimes. The fact that he also had adopted two boys raised eyebrows about county adoptions practices. This initiated a county review, but there are no reports of the outcome of the investigation.
A second defendant, Erick Alan Monsivais, 30, of Los Angeles, agreed to plead guilty in the case, testify in court and will face up to 45 years in state prison when sentenced at a later date.
According to court records, another defendant, Noland Anthony Harper, 61, is scheduled to be arraigned in the case March 11. Defendant William Clyde Thompson, 55, of Las Vegas, won’t face trial in Riverside County until a federal child pornography case filed against him in Nevada is resolved.