ASHLAND, Ky. – A Lawrence County, Ky. man was convicted Thursday, by a federal jury sitting in Ashland, of 11 counts of child pornography charges. The counts included five counts of production, four counts of receipt, one count of distribution, and one count of possession of a matter containing visual depictions of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
The jury convicted Dale Allen Fraley, 49, after two hours of deliberations, following a three-day trial.
According to the evidence at trial, Fraley used various online “personas” to induce, persuade, or coerce minors to engage in sexually explicit conduct, for the purpose of producing visual depictions of that conduct. Fraley, acting through the online “personas,” would threaten minor females to engage in various sexual acts and to record that activity, or send the images to him “live” via Skype or other applications. He also persuaded the minors to come to his home, sometimes at the behest of the online “personas,” to get “sexual experience” with Dale Fraley as the teacher. Fraley would sometimes record the sexual activity between himself and the minors at his home, or record the minors masturbating or engaging in the lewd and lascivious exhibition of their genitalia.
Fraley was indicted in October of 2019, with a Superseding Indictment being returned in September of 2020.
Carlton S. Shier, IV., Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, James R. Brown, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Louisville Division; and Chief Brian Mullins, Eastern Kentucky University Police, jointly announced the jury’s verdict.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI, including a Task Force Officer employed by the Eastern Kentucky University Police Department. The United States was represented in the case by Assistant U.S. Attorneys David Marye and Mary Melton.
Fraley will appear for sentencing before U.S. District Judge David Bunning, on October 18, 2021. He faces a maximum of 30 years in prison for each count of production, 20 years for each count of receipt and distribution of child pornography, and ten years for possession of child pornography. However, the Court must consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the applicable federal sentencing statutes before imposing the sentence.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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.
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