Riverside man who arranged to meet local 13-year-old girl for sex arrested

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Authorities say a man who met with a 13-year-old and provided the girl with a “vape” pen in exchange for nude photos was later arrested after arranging to meet with the teen to engage in sexual acts in exchange for marijuana Wednesday, May 19.

When the man was apprehended after he showed up at a Riverside mall to meet with the girl officers discovered he was in possession of a loaded handgun, as well as a large quantity of marijuana, mushrooms, and other edible narcotics that were packaged for sales, according to officials.


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City of Riverside police officers were first alerted to the situation when they learned the alleged suspect, 34-year-old James David Renfroe, had been corresponding with the 13-year-old victim via social media, officials have since explained.

“During these online conversations, the adult man offered to sell the minor a vape pen in exchange for a nude photo,” officials explained. “The victim shared the photo and (Renfroe) later delivered the vape pen to her home.”

“Once the man requested additional photos, the victim became concerned and told her parents, who then notified the police,” said officials.

James Renfroe, 38, was arrested after officials say he first provided a “vape” pen to a 13-year-old Riverside girl in exchange for a nude photo. He later arranged to meet with the young victim at the Galleria at Tyler shopping center where he agreed to provide the girl with marijuana in exchange for sex. He was arrested by RCCET officials when he arrived at the mall. Riverside Police Department photo

As these social media interactions continued, Renfroe repeatedly requested to meet the juvenile victim at the Galleria at Tyler shopping mall in Riverside and offered to exchange marijuana for sexual favors.

At that point, RPD requested assistance was requested from the Riverside County Child Exploitation Team (RCCET), who the Riverside Police Department has a detective assigned to.

On Wednesday, May 19, RCCET conducted surveillance at the mall where Renfro had agreed to meet with the young victim for sex. They eventually spotted Renfroe as he arrived in the parking structure at the shopping center, where he was detained without incident.

“Investigators searched Mr. Renfroe’s vehicle and located a large quantity of marijuana, mushrooms, and other edible narcotics that were packaged for sales,” RPD explained. “They also found a loaded handgun inside his vehicle, and with the help from the District Attorney’s electronic detection canine “Chewie,” electronic devices were seized as well.”

In addition to a large amount of marijuana, mushrooms, and other edible narcotics that were packaged for sales, RCCET officials discovered Renfroe brought a loaded handgun to his pre-arranged meeting spot, where he had arranged to exchange marijuana for sexual favors from a 13-year-old girl. Riverside Police Department photos

Based on their investigation, officials arrested Renfroe and he was later booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside on suspicion of meeting a minor for sex, communicating with a minor for sex, attempted lewd acts upon a child under the age of 14, and possession of child pornography. He was also booked on several narcotics and weapons violations.

Online jail records indicate Renfroe was released from custody on May 24, after posting $35,000 bail or bond. He is scheduled to be arraigned at the Riverside Hall Of Justice on June 11.


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“This case is another example of the invaluable work task forces like RCCET conduct in our communities to keep predators from victimizing our children,” officials have since explained; adding, “But it also reinforces the need for parents to monitor their children’s online activities, especially on social media.”

Here are a few tips provided by RPD for parents about internet and social media safety:

  • Educate yourself about the different social media apps
  • Establish an age limit for your child to start using social media
  • Regularly check your child’s privacy settings
  • Keep your child’s profile private
  • Make sure they are not posting personal details, including phone numbers, addresses, schools, or check-ins
  • Make sure they use a strong password, and that it is shared with you
  • Never allow them to accept friend requests/followers from people or pages they don’t know
  • Set realistic rules and guidelines for your child’s use of the internet and social media
  • Keep an open dialogue with your children so they know they can come to you if they encounter something or someone suspicious online

This child exploitation investigation is still ongoing and there are no further details to release at this time.

Anyone with additional information or who believes they know someone who was victimized by Renfroe is encouraged to immediately contact Detective Robert Olsen at (951) 955-5529 or [email protected], or RCCET at (866) 723-3595 or [email protected]. Callers can refer to incident file number 210013536 and can remain anonymous.

To learn more about RCCET and more information about online safety, and to also submit a tip about child exploitation, visit their website at www.RivCoSafe.org.

The Riverside County Child Exploitation Team was formed in 2006 as a collaboration of multi-disciplined law enforcement agencies that is led by the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office and includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security, US Marshal’s Office, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, Riverside County Probation Department, Riverside Police Department, Beaumont Police Department, Murrieta Police Department, and the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation. The task force is also an affiliate member of the San Diego Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and part of the National Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program.

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Riverside Police Department photos

Contact the writer: [email protected]

Trevor Montgomery, 49, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).

Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.

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. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s 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 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.