San Diego Woman Pleads Guilty to Child Molestation

Last Updated on: 7th February 2019, 12:25 pm

EL CAJON – Pauletta Santaua pleaded guilty in El Cajon Superior Court on Tuesday to molesting a 12-year-old girl.  Santaua, 20, admitted to molesting the girl in photographs and videos taken by an East County photographer, Gary Lee Whiteside.

Santaua told the judge she agreed to a deal in which she would be required to register as a sex offender for life and could receive up to 8 years in prison, to be determined at her April 14 hearing.

Whiteside, 65, is charged with 51 counts of molesting and photographing nine girls between January 2003 and June 2008 in his La Mesa and El Cajon studios.

Santaua apparently met Whiteside when she was introduced to him via one of the girls he is charged with molesting.  Santaua had hopes of being a model and was encouraged to attend the studio by her mother.

Investigators are still looking for a baby and an adolescent girl who appeared in the photographs taken by Whiteside.  They are also interested in finding any parents or children who had inappropriate contact with Whiteside.

Whiteside’s trial is set for May 11 and if convicted, he could get in excess of 400 years to life in prison.

In addition to the criminal prosecution, victims of child molestation may obtain monetary compensation in a civil lawsuit.   If you or a loved one has been a victim of or subjected to molestation or sexual assault, contact the attorneys at Berman & Riedel, LLP for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case.


About Berman & Riedel, LLP firm managing partner attorney William M. Berman:

Attorney William M. Berman focuses his practice in the areas of catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death and elder abuse and neglect. Strictly a plaintiffs’ dedicated firm, he never represents insurance companies in the defense of claims. Mr. Berman’s firm remains staunchly committed to helping those who have suffered serious injury or loss due the negligence, intentional misconduct or wrongful acts of others.

Mr. Berman has grown his firm to what is considered one of the largest and most successful elder abuse/neglect practices within California. Through his continued successes in handling claims involving nursing home and elder abuse and neglect, Mr. Berman remains a prominent figure in advocating on behalf of this vulnerable class of citizens.

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Attorney Bill Berman

William M. Berman, Esquire
Berman & Riedel, LLP
12264 El Camino Real, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92130
ph: (858) 350-8855
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