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Press Release

Manchester Man Charged with Child Exploitation Offenses Related to Sexual Abuse Minor

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, Michael J. Krol, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and Manchester Police Chief William Darby today announced that HERNAN AYALA, 32, of Manchester, has been charged by federal criminal complaint with child exploitation offenses.

Ayala appeared yesterday in Hartford federal court.  He has been detained since his arrest on related state charges on March 9, 2024.

As alleged in court documents, in March 2024, the Manchester Police Department received a complaint that a minor female had been sexually abused by Ayala.  The minor female reported that Ayala had engaged in sexual conduct with her for more than eight years, and that Ayala had recorded his sexual abuse of her on his cellphone.  On that date, investigators searched Ayala’s residence and seized several electronic devices, including his iPhone.  Analysis of the seized phone revealed numerous videos and images of Ayala engaging in sexual conduct with the minor victim.

The complaint charges Ayala with sexual exploitation of children, an offense that carries a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years, and with possession of child pornography, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.

U.S. Attorney Avery stressed that a criminal complaint is not evidence of guilt.  Charges are only allegations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This matter is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Manchester Police Department, the Glastonbury Police Department, and the Connecticut Center for Digital Investigations.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy V. Gifford.

U.S. Attorney Avery thanked the State’s Attorney’s Offices for the Judicial Districts of Hartford and Tolland for their cooperation in the investigation and prosecution of this case.

This prosecution is part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood Initiative, which is aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

To report cases of child exploitation, please visit

Updated May 31, 2024

Project Safe Childhood