LAFAYETTE MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CONTAINING IMAGES OF INFANTS
LAFAYETTE, La.: United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that Ray Hatton III, 30, of Lafayette, pleaded guilty Tuesday before U. S. District Judge Richard T. Haik, to possessing child pornography involving some images of infants.
According to the evidence presented at the guilty plea, law enforcement authorities used computer surveillance software which detected the defendant downloading child pornography. He used the internet file sharing program Limewire to download the files. Limewire is an internet peer to peer site used to trade files among members and is regularly used to distribute child pornography. After obtaining a warrant, authorities searched his residence on March 8, 2012, and seized the defendant’s computer. Hatton was found to have downloaded 10 movies of child pornography. Some of the pornography depicted infants and very young children.
Hatton faces a minimum of five years to a maximum of 20 years incarceration, a $250,000 fine, and five years of supervised release. The Lafayette Police Department and the Department of Homeland Security conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Luke Walker is prosecuting the case. Hatton was indicted Dec. 11, 2012.
This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a U.S. Department of Justice nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Homeland Security Investigations/Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE)
encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at (866) DHS-2ICE. Investigators are available at all hours to answer hotline calls. Tips or other information can also be submitted to ICE online at http://www.ice.gov/exec/forms/hsi-tips/tips.asp and to the FBI at https://tips.fbi.gov. Tips may be reported anonymously. The Lafayette FBI office number is (337) 233-2164.