LAFAYETTE MAN SENTENCED TO 121 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
LAFAYETTE, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that Ray Hatton III, 31, of Lafayette, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard T. Haik to 121 months in prison and a lifetime of supervised release for possessing child pornography with some of the images involving infants. He pleaded guilty May 13, 2013.
According to the evidence presented at the guilty plea, law enforcement authorities determined that Hatton was downloading child pornography using an internet file sharing program. 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 videos of child pornography. Some of the pornography depicted infants and very young children.
“This defendant admitted to downloading one of the most despicable types of child pornography produced,” Finley stated. “Those who download and possess child pornography will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I hope this serves as a deterrent to anyone seeking to acquire this type of material.”
The Lafayette Police Department and the Department of Homeland Security conducted the investigation. 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 www.ice.gov/exec/forms/hsi-tips/tips.asp.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John Luke Walker prosecuted the case.