An Angier man received a 30-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to producing child pornography.
According to court documents, Fuquay-Varina police launched an investigation into 72-year-old Raul Ayala Jr. after he was accused of sexually molesting a prepubescent minor. Officers confronted Ayala who admitted to some of the conduct, but claimed to have explanations for his behavior. During an interview with detectives about the allegations, Ayala said the molestation had been going on for years and he had taken some nude pictures of the child, insisting the photographs were innocent.
Detectives executed a search warrant at Ayala’s Angier residence, seizing multiple digital devices and a briefcase containing both adult and child pornography. The briefcase also had advertisements for child pornography videos featuring pictures of children engaged in sexual acts with adults along with Polaroids of nude minors dating back to the 1960s and ’70s.
“On Ayala’s digital devices, law enforcement found lascivious images of the minor child who disclosed sexual abuse along with child pornography unrelated to the minor child,” a release from the United States Attorney’s Office Eastern District of North Carolina stated.
One male identified in the Polaroids told Homeland Security investigators Ayala started molesting and photographing him when he was 8 years old. This case was part of the Project Safe Childhood initiative, a national program aimed at ensuring that criminals exploiting children are effectively prosecuted.
Fuquay-Varina Police Department, Harnett County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Homeland Security conducted the investigation while Assistant U.S. Attorney Charity Wilson and Charles Schmitz with the Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section prosecuted the case. U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle entered the sentence.
Ayala pleaded guilty to the charge on April 26.
Eliot Duke can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 910-230-2038.