Porn actress, director accused of sexually abusing young girl

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. – A man and woman who both work in the adult film industry were arrested after being accused of sexually abusing a young girl in Southern California over the course of months, authorities said Wednesday.

Deputies began investigating last Thursday when they learned of alleged sexual acts against a child under the age of 10, according to a Rancho Cucamonga Police Department news release.

Detectives interviewed the young girl, who reported being sexually abused multiple times by a man and a woman over a four-month period, according to KTLA.

"The sexual abuse consisted of inappropriate touching, oral copulation, and digital penetration, which occurred over four months," deputies said.

The pair were identified as Jason Whitney, 43, and Melinda Smith, 35, both of Rancho Cucamonga.

During the investigation, detectives determined that Smith was an adult film actress who went by the name Mercedes Carrera, according to the release.

Whitney, investigators learned, also worked in the adult film industry, directing and producing pornographic movies, web shows and awards shows.

When detectives served a search warrant at their home in the 10800 block of Church Street last Friday they uncovered "a large amount of evidence corroborating the victim's statement," according to the release. Methamphetamine and two loaded handguns were also found in the home, authorities said.

Additionally, detectives discovered "the two suspects had their bedroom set up where they could film and record various pornographic videos or web shows," the release stated.

Whitney and Smith were interviewed at the police station before being arrested and booked at the West Valley Detention Center.

The San Bernardino County District Attorney's has since charged the pair with eight counts of sexual acts with a child under the age of 10 and one count of possessing a controlled substance while armed with a handgun, according to the release.

Both suspects appeared in court Wednesday and entered not guilty pleas. They are due back in court Feb. 14 for a pre-preliminary hearing.

They have been denied bail.

Investigators released the booking photos of Whitney and Smith because they think there could be other victims in the case.

Anyone with information  is asked to call police at 909-477-2800. Anonymous tips can also be left through the We-Tip Hotline by dialing 800-782-7463, or visiting the website wetip.com.

Editor's note: An alias for Whitney – provided in the Police Department's news release – has been removed from this story while authorities investigate whether the alias is in fact the name of another man in the same industry, and whether the suspect goes by that name and/or other names. The Police Department will provide an update on the alias issue later Wednesday, a detective told KTLA. We will update the story as new information comes in Wednesday.

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