RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — A grand jury indictment will be unsealed Friday in Riverside, listing a string of felony charges against a former Palm Springs Unified School District teacher’s aide accused of targeting young boys for use in child pornography.

Earlier this week, a preliminary hearing in Indio for 43-year-old John David Yoder was halted after Riverside County Superior Court Judge Larry Gunther was notified that the District Attorney’s Office had obtained the indictment. The case was then transferred from Indio’s Larsen Justice Center to the Riverside Hall of Justice.

During the preliminary hearing, prosecutors alleged Yoder and his co-defendants – Erick Monsivais of Los Angeles, William Clyde Thompson of Las Vegas and Virginia accountant Noland Harper – were prolific child pornographers and child abusers.

A video in which an 11-year-old boy alleged he had posed shirtless and barefoot during modeling sessions arranged by the defendants in exchange for cash, cell phones and fancy scooters was played in court Tuesday. The child, whose identity was not disclosed, said Thompson and Harper repeatedly visited Yoder at his Desert Hot Springs home and would spend time at a local skate park. The boy claimed Thompson fondled him during a visit to the home.

More than a dozen alleged child victims were identified through testimony in Yoder’s preliminary hearing, which had been convened to determine whether there was sufficient evidence for a trial.

According to court papers, the child porn ring was in existence for at least three years, with Thompson characterized as the ringleader, making trips to the Coachella Valley from his Las Vegas home and connecting with Monsivais and Yoder to find prospects.

Yoder lived with his two adopted sons, and until recently was a licensed foster care provider and a special education assistant instructor for the Palm Springs Unified School District.

The defendant was originally charged with human trafficking of a minor, conspiracy, lewd acts on a child under 14 and aiding a felon to avoid arrest. He’s being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Indio Jail.

Monsivais is charged with four counts of oral copulation of a child under 10, three counts of aggravated assault on a minor with force, and one count each of human trafficking and lewd acts on a child with force. He’s being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta and faces 167 years to life in prison if convicted.

Thompson, who is in federal custody in Las Vegas, is charged with sodomy of a child, oral copulation of a minor, sexual assault of a child under 14, lewd acts on a child under 14, procurement of a child under 16 for lewd acts, human trafficking of a minor, use of a child for prohibited acts, distribution of child porn and conspiracy to create child pornography. He’s facing 85 years to life in prison if convicted.

Along with the state charges, the defendants were indicted by a federal grand jury in January on charges of sexual exploitation of a child, conspiracy to produce child porn and conspiracy to distribute child porn.

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