SANTA ANA, Calif. – A U.S. Forest Service firefighter has been charged with felony possession of child pornography and lewd acts with a child under the age of 14 that occurred in the City of Newport Beach. Authorities are asking for the public’s help in identifying additional potential victims.
Jacob Daniel Carothers, 38, of San Jacinto, was arrested July 1, 2020 by Newport Beach Police detectives.
Carothers, who has worked as a federal firefighter for the last 16 years, has been charged with one felony count of possession of child pornography and two felony counts of a lewd and lascivious act with a child under the age of 14. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years and eight months in state prison if convicted on all charges.
Carothers was most recently assigned to the Cleveland National Forest.
On May 29, 2020, a woman called Newport Beach police to report that her 12-year-old daughter had been inappropriately grabbed by a man riding by on a bicycle two separate time while the girl and two friends were walking in swimwear on Balboa Peninsula.
The man, later identified as Carothers, fled the scene on his bike was found by police in an alley nearby. The investigation revealed a significant amount of pornographic photos and videos depicting children in Carothers’ possession.
Carothers was arrested by Newport Beach police on a warrant on July 1, 2020.
Carothers is scheduled to be arraigned on Monday, July 6, 2020 in CJ1. He is currently being held at the Intake Release Center on $100,000 bail.
“We rely on firefighters to come to our aid when our homes are on fire and our lives are at risk. We hand firefighters choking babies and expect them to breathe life back into them. We count on them to keep our homes from burning to the ground and prevent lifetimes of memories from being reduced to ash,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer.
Unfortunately, not everyone who takes the oath to become a firefighter is worthy of having the public’s trust. Children enjoying a summer day at the beach with their friends should not have to worry about being assaulted by a predator, especially one who took an oath to safeguard lives.”
Authorities are asking for the public’s help in identifying additional potential victims. Anyone with information is asked to call Newport Beach Police Detective Kelley Maslin at 949-644-3776.
Deputy District Attorney Juliet Oliver of the Sexual Assault Unit is prosecuting this case.