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  1. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
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  3. Connecticut Man Charged With Child Exploitation Offenses Following HSI Investigation

Connecticut Man Charged With Child Exploitation Offenses Following HSI Investigation

Release Date: June 3, 2024

HARTFORD, Conn. — HSI New England Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Krol, U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut Vanessa Roberts Avery and Manchester Police Chief William Darby announced May 31 that Hernan Ayala, 32, of Manchester, was charged with child exploitation offenses following a Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New England investigation.

Ayala appeared May 30 in Hartford federal court. He has been detained since his arrest on related state charges on March 9.

As alleged in court documents, in March 2024, the Manchester Police Department received a complaint that Ayala had sexually abused a minor girl. The girl 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. HSI’s 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.

Charges are only allegations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

HSI is a global leader in the fight against child exploitation. Last year, HSI special agents dedicated 1.2 million case hours toward investigating child exploitation. This heinous crime harms the most vulnerable in our society: Our kids. As technology evolves and more people have access to the internet, children are at a greater risk than ever. HSI’s special agents and analysts around the world are dedicated to countering this threat.

Report suspected child exploitation to the HSI tip line at 877-4-HSI-TIP or through the CyberTipline on the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children's website.

Last Updated: 06/03/2024
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