Lauderdale County couple pleads guilty in child pornography case

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) - A Lauderdale County couple pleaded guilty Wednesday in a child pornography case.  This follows their federal conviction in October.

L to R: Matthew and Patricia Ayers (WHNT News 19 file)

L to R: Matthew and Patricia Ayers (WHNT News 19 file)

Today's plea was in Lauderdale County Circuit Court.  Matthew Ayers pleaded guilty to sodomy of a child under 12.  Before Judge Mike Jones, Ayers admitted to sodomizing the victim and to having pictures made while the act took place.  The judge scheduled the sentencing for January 29 at 1:30 p.m.

Patricia Ayers was brought in next.  She pleaded guilty to multiple charges, including sodomy.  She also admitted to taking pictures of sodomy acts that her husband performed on the victim.  Patricia Ayers was sentenced to life in prison without probation.

For pleading guilty to federal charges of producing child pornography, the couple was sentenced to more than 2,000 years in prison.  Patricia Ayers pleaded guilty to 53 counts of producing child pornography, and Matthew Ayers pleaded guilty to 25 counts of production.  The minor child, age 6, was in their care.

Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly watched as the federal courts moved the Ayers through their system.  He pushed for them to be tried on state charges as well because of the horrific nature of their alleged crimes against the child.

The couple was arrested in January 2013 for numerous charges of rape, sodomy, sexual abuse and producing child pornography.  The crimes took place in 2011, prosecutors said.