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Ex-Calif. pageant winner arrested for selling pornographic images of 4-year-old relative

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A 25-year-old former beauty queen was charged in Southern California on Friday with distributing pornographic photos of a 4-year-old girl who is her relative, prosecutors said.

Meghan Breanna Alt, 25, of San Clemente was charged with one felony count of possession and control of child pornography and three felony counts of lewd acts upon a child, federal and local authorities said in a joint statement.

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Alt took pictures of the girl in sexually explicit poses, then sent them to a U.S. Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton in Southern California in exchange for cash and gifts, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Alt was crowned Mrs. Orange County and in 2014 competed for the Mrs. California title. Those contests are aligned with the Mrs. America and Mrs. World pageants, and all of the competitions are for married women.

She was arrested in San Diego on Wednesday, officials said.

Her arrest resulted from an investigation by the Orange County Child Exploitation Task Force and other law enforcement agencies, officials said.

It was unclear what actions authorities might have taken against the Marine. A representative for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which was involved in the case, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

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Officials declined to be more specific about the victim in order to protect her identity, but they said the girl is related to Alt.

Authorities said they are looking for other potential victims in the case. Alt was active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Irvine and San Clemente as a youth volunteer and had access to children, authorities said.

She is being held in Orange County jail on $100,000 bail and was expected to be arraigned on Friday in Orange County Superior Court. It was not immediately clear if she has obtained an attorney.

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(Reporting by Marty Graham; Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis and Eric Beech)

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‘Friday Night Massacre’ at US Postal Service as Postmaster General—a major Trump donor—ousts top officials

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Government watchdogs, Democratic lawmakers, and pro-democracy advocates declared it a "Friday Night Massacre" for the U.S. Postal Service after news broke in a classic end-of-the-week dump that Louis DeJoy—a major GOP donor to President Donald Trump and the recently appointed Postmaster General—had issued a sweeping overhaul of the agency, including the ouster of top executives from key posts and the reshuffling of more than two dozen other officials and operational managers.

According to the Washington Post:

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Virus outbreak in Houston-area nursing home kills 17

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A novel coronavirus outbreak at a Missouri City nursing home, outside of Houston, has killed 17 residents, according to data from state officials.

City officials issued a press release this week raising alarm over 19 deaths that they said occurred at the Paradigm at First Colony Nursing Home but nursing home officials told The Texas Tribune that the number is incorrect and declined to provide the correct number.

The city also reported that the facility has 24 infected staff members and the nursing home reported 11 currently infected residents who are in stable condition.

“This harrowing development speaks to the severity of this pandemic and how everyone needs to take it even more seriously,” said Missouri City Mayor Yolanda Ford of the outbreak in a Wednesday press release.

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‘Gullible’ Trump administration paid up to $500 million too much for these ventilators: investigators

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Citing “evidence of fraud, waste, and abuse,” a congressional subcommittee investigating the federal government’s purchase of $646.7 million worth of Philips ventilators has asked the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General to launch its own investigation of the deal.

The House subcommittee launched its review after ProPublica stories in March and April showed how a U.S. subsidiary of Royal Philips N.V. received millions in federal tax dollars years ago to develop a low-cost ventilator for pandemics but didn’t deliver it. Instead, as the coronavirus began spreading around the globe and U.S. hospitals were desperate for more, Philips was selling commercial versions of the government-funded ventilator overseas from its Pennsylvania factory. Then in April, despite having not fulfilled the initial contract, the Dutch company struck a much more lucrative deal to sell the government 43,000 ventilators for four times the price.

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