RALEIGH, N.C. – An Angier man was sentenced today to 360 months in prison for production of child pornography. On April 26, 2020, Raul Ayala, Jr. pled guilty to the charge.
According to court documents and other information presented in court, Ayala, 72, was accused of sexually molesting a prepubescent minor. Upon the minor’s disclosure, Ayala was confronted and admitted to some of the conduct but claimed there were explanations for the behavior. Law enforcement was contacted, and Fuquay-Varina Police Department began an investigation. Detectives interviewed Ayala about the allegations, and Ayala admitted to touching the child’s penis and putting his mouth on the child’s penis. Ayala said the molestation had been on-going for a couple of years. He also admitted he had taken some nude photographs of the child, but insisted they were innocent photographs. In addition, Ayala admitted he had molested children in the 1970’s.
A search warrant was executed at Ayala’s residence in Angier and multiple digital devices were seized. In addition, in Ayala’s attic law enforcement found a briefcase that contained adult pornography and child pornography. The briefcase contained tri-fold advertisements for child pornography videos which contained pictures of children engaged in sexual acts with adults and a description of what the videos depicted. In the briefcase were Polaroid pictures of nude minor children, dating back to the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. 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.
Homeland Security Investigators sought to identify the minor males in the Polaroid photographs. Agents identified one of the males who affirmed he was one of the children in the Polaroids and he disclosed that Ayala had molested and photographed him, beginning when he was eight years old.
G. Norman Acker, III, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after the sentence was entered by U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle. Fuquay-Varina Police Department, Harnett County Sheriff’s Office, and the Department of Homeland Security Investigation investigated the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Charity Wilson and Charles Schmitz with the Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section prosecuted the case.
This case was part of the Project Safe Childhood initiative, a national program aimed at ensuring that criminals exploiting children are effectively prosecuted by making full use of all available law enforcement resources at every level. For more information about this important national project, Project Safe Childhood, go to www.projectsafechildhood.gov.