Pereida indicted by grand jury

Friday, April 4, 2008 | 5:55 p.m. CDT; updated 5:44 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — A Columbia man was indicted by a grand jury today on suspicion of molesting two young girls, according to the Missouri

Luis Gerardo Pereida, 28, of the 1500 block of Walnut Street, is charged with three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor child, two counts of first-degree statutory sodomy and one count of possessing child pornography. An arraignment has been set for April 14.

According to Missourian archives, the Mid-Missouri Internet Crimes Task Force began investigating Pereida in December 2007 after receiving information that he possessed child pornography.

Authorities served a search warrant of Pereida’s home Jan. 10 and seized his computer. They found more than 5,000 images and videos depicting sexual acts on young children, as well as pictures taken in Pereida’s home of Columbia children. Several of those photographs and two videos were of a girl being molested.

Investigators identified the child in the video with the suspect and also located a second girl who was thought to be a victim of molestation by the suspect. Detectives notified the children’s parents. Both victims were between 4 and 6 years old at the time they were molested.

Pereida was arrested Feb. 15 for possession of child pornography but was released the same day after posting a $4,500 bond.

On March 18, he turned himself into the Boone County Circuit Court and was arrested on suspicion of molesting two girls. His bond was posted at $27,000. As a condition of the bond, Pereida may have no contact with any person under 17 years old and can have no access to computers, the Internet, cameras or recording equipment.

As of Friday, Pereida was not being held in Boone County Jail, according to authorities at the jail.

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