Florence Couple Indicted For Producing Child Pornography
BIRMINGHAM -- A federal grand jury this week indicted a Florence couple on multiple charges that they exploited a minor child in their custody to produce child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard D. Schwein Jr.
A 107-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court charges PATRICIA ALLANA AYERS, 34, and her husband, MATTHEW DAVID AYERS, 42, in connection with 53 pornographic images of the child produced between the summer of 2010 and January 2013. The couple has remained in jail in Lauderdale County since early last year on state child pornography, rape and sexual abuse charges.
"I am committed to protecting children from exploitation and sexual abuse, and in no case more so than cases like this, where children are hurt by those closest to them," Vance said.
"This case emphasizes the need for anyone with information about the potential sexual exploitation of children to report it immediately," Schwein said. "The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children operates the Cyber Tip Line in partnership with the FBI and other federal authorities. If you have information call the tip line at 1-800-THE-LOST."
The indictment charges 106 counts of producing child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography. For each photograph involving sexual exploitation of the child, the defendant involved faces two charges:
• enticing or coercing a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of creating an image of the conduct, and
• as the parent, legal guardian or person having control of a minor, permitting that child to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing an image of it.
Patricia Ayers faces all 106 production counts and one count of possession of child pornography. Matthew Ayers faces 50 counts of producing child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography.
The FBI investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Stuart Burrell is prosecuting.
The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent and it is the government's responsibility to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.