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Local

Fake ‘Twilight’ actor faces child pornography charges

A California man charged with preying on local teens while claiming to be an actor from "Twilight" now faces federal child pornography charges.

David A. LaVera, 33, was indicted on the charges Monday and released from the Jasper County Jail into the custody of U.S. Marshals. A grand jury charged LaVera with production of child pornography and possession of child pornography, according to court documents released by the U.S. Attorney's Office.

In August, LaVera was charged locally with two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and two counts of invasion of privacy for allegedly using his smartphone to video a 12-year-old victim taking a shower and a 13-year-old victim using the bathroom at a Newton home. According to court documents, LaVera later uploaded that video onto his laptop computer for viewing.

LaVera was initially charged in June after police said he enticed a teenage girl to a park in Baxter. While at the park, LaVera is accused of sexually abusing the 14-year-old. The two drove around Baxter until concerned family and friends, who had reported a kidnapping, were able to stop the vehicle and get the girl out of the car. When LaVera was apprehended, he was found with several weapons, including double-edged daggers.

Initial charges against LaVera included enticement of a minor and carrying weapons. In August, additional charges were filed in the case including third-degree sexual abuse, two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, two counts of invasion of privacy and attempting to entice a minor under 16.

According to court documents, LaVera targeted another teenage girl after meeting her at a local school and Maytag Park. Facebook messages show LaVera requested to meet the teen and told her how to sneak out of her home, according to the report. He is charged with attempting to entice a minor for this alleged offense.

LaVera was previously scheduled to stand trial on the eight state charges Nov. 5. An initial appearance and arraignment on federal charges is scheduled Tuesday in Des Moines.

Contact Editor Abigail Pelzer at (641) 792-3121 ext. 6530 or apelzer@newtondailynews.com.

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