BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WHNT) – A federal grand jury this week indicted a Florence couple on multiple charges that they exploited a minor child 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 a 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.
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.
In January 2013, Patricia Ayers says she snapped the pictures to compare the photos of the naked child to images taken last year, in order to document a rash on the child’s arms and back.
“These photos, the child was posed in the photos and has nothing to do with what you would think of someone taking a photo for medical reasons,” said Lauderdale County Investigator, Richard Richey.
Matthew Ayers originally denied involvement, and his wife backed up his story. However, investigators say they found more images on Ayers’ computer confiscated from the scene that links him to the case. He is charged with rape, sodomy, sexual abuse and permitting a child to engage in obscene matter in Alabama.
“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.”