UPDATED: Riverside man officials say used social media, gifts to lure young victims released on bail
UPDATED: Thursday, Jan. 11, 1:30 a.m.
RIVERSIDE — A man arrested for allegedly using social media and promises of gifts to lure at least one underage Riverside girl into performing unlawful sexual acts and is being investigated by San Bernardino Police Department for similar crimes has been released from a Riverside County jail after posting $75,000 bail.
Following a two-week long investigation, Riverside Police detectives arrested Dennis Lee Shea, 39, of Riverside. He was arrested at the San Bernardino Police Station just after 4 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 3, and driven back to Riverside County where he was booked into Robert Presley Detention Center later that evening on suspicion of unlawful sex with a minor, sodomy of a minor, and lewd and lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14.
Officials announced Shea’s arrest the day after he was booked into jail.
Detectives from Riverside PD’s Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Unit began investigating Shea in mid-December after a victim, who has only been identified as a girl who resides in Riverside’s Arlington neighborhood, reported “several criminal acts of sexual intercourse,” and identified Shea as the alleged suspect, Riverside PD officials explained after Shea’s arrest.
During their more than two week long investigation detectives learned Shea used the Internet and social media websites such as Facebook and Snapchat to contact his victims.
In the Riverside case, Shea “offered the girl gifts in exchange for sexual acts,” said officials. “He would also take videos and photographs of the victim while the crimes occurred at his residence in the 3400 block of Wilbur Street.”
Officials have not publicly specified the nature or value of the gifts they allege Shea lured his victims with.
Other than the fact that detectives believe Shea used his job as a San Bernardino paralegal to commit similar crimes within their jurisdiction, no information regarding San Bernardino PD’s investigation was immediately available.
An online jail record search revealed Shea was released from custody the day after his arrest, after posting $75,000 bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned in the Riverside County case at the Riverside Hall Of Justice, March 5.
Because of the way Shea allegedly used the Internet to contact his victims, detectives believe there could be other potential victims who have not yet come forward or been interviewed.
Anyone with information about either investigation or who knows of anyone potentially victimized by Shea is encouraged to contact Riverside PD Detective Charlie Olivas at (951) 353-7136 or via email. Callers can refer to incident file number P17-223132 and can remain anonymous.
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Trevor Montgomery, who recently moved from Riverside County to Shasta County, runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for Riverside County based newspapers Valley News, The Valley Chronicle and Anza Valley Outlook as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident.
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 27 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 14 grandchildren.