Former Lafayette Utilities System employee Kevin Ray was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison this week for attempting to entice a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity and attempted production of child pornography. In addition to the prison term, Ray got 10 years of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Rebecca F. Doherty.

The 45-year-old Opelousas man was convicted by a federal jury in August 2009 following a three-day trial.

On April 18, 2009, while at work and using his city of Lafayette laptop, Ray began chatting with an undercover Louisiana State Police officer who identified himself as a 15-year old female from Lafayette. Ray attempted to engage in graphic sexual chat with the undercover officer and discussed the possibility of meeting with the undercover officer and engaging in sex acts, according to court testimony. Ray repeatedly asked to see the person he believed to be a 15-year old female in sexually explicit poses, and also asked her to take sexually explicit pictures of herself and send them to him using the Internet.

The following day, Ray arranged to meet with the undercover officer at Veteran’s Park in Lafayette so they could go to the child’s residence and engage in sex acts. Ray arrived at the park at about 1 p.m. and was arrested by state police shortly thereafter.

The case was brought by state police as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, the nationwide initiative was created to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. attorney’s offices, Project Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John Luke Walker.

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