Released from probation just months earlier, Palm Springs sex offender arrested again on same charges

PALM SPRINGS, Calif., — The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office announced yesterday that charges have been filed against a registered sex offender they say is suspected of possessing child pornography.

At the time of his arrest, the man, 38-year-old Palm Springs resident Matthew David Pettineo, had just been released from probation in March for a 2015 conviction for the same crime, according to DA officials. Online jail records indicate Pettineo remains free pending his next court appearance, after posting $35,000 bail or bond.


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Superior Court and jail records indicate Pettineo was most recently taken into custody at his S. El Segundo Street apartment on Aug. 19.

His arrest was the result of an investigation by the Riverside County Child Exploitation Team (RCCET), which is led by the DA’s Bureau of Investigation, after they received a Cyber-Tip about a suspect uploading images and videos depicting child sexual exploitation, the DA’s Office said yesterday.

After last month’s arrest, Pettineo was booked into the John Benoit Detention Center on three felony charges, including suspicion of sending or receiving obscene matter involving a juvenile, possession of child pornography, and possession of child pornography with prior conviction(s) of the same charge.

According to the DA’s Office, Pettineo had been released from probation in March 2021 after being sentenced in 2016 for the same crime.

Matthew Pettineo, 38, of Palm Springs, has pleaded not guilty to a sole count of child pornography and remains free from custody after posting $35,000 bail or bond. He had been released from probation just a few months earlier following a 2016 conviction for the same crime. Riverside County District Attorney’s Office photo

Jail and Superior Court records indicate Pettineo pleaded not guilty at his arraignment earlier this month and remains free on bail. His next court appearance has been scheduled for Oct. 29 at the Indio Larson Justice Center.

Anyone with information about this case or who may have possibly been a victim of this defendant can contact the RCCET tip line at (866) 723-3595 or email [email protected].

Contact the writer: [email protected]

Trevor Montgomery, 50, 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.