David Rael Appeals Nine-Year Sentence

Los Alamos Daily Post

A 40-year-old Los Alamos man has filed a notice of appeal of a nine-year prison sentence handed down Nov. 1 by First Judicial District Chief Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer.

David Rael was convicted of three counts of sexual exploitation of children following a non-jury trial last June. The State had requested a 15-year sentence.

In June 2013, a member of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force was investigating the sharing of online pornography when he identified Rael’s computer as a potential source for at least six files of interest. LAPD confirmed that the IP address belonged to Rael, a search warrant was obtained for Rael’s residence and police found child pornography files.

Rael’s attorney Marc Edwards asked the District Court to reduce the sentence saying there are numerous mitigating circumstances that merit a reduction including but not limited to the fact that no interaction ever took place with children, no attempt was ever made to solicit interaction with children and no chat rooms with children ever occurred.

Edwards said Rael’s sentence was “much heavier compared to other defendants’ sentences imposed by the Court where the defendant actually had sexual contact with children”.

The notice of appeal states, “Evidence presented to the Court showed the defendant had over a thousand adult pornographic videos and an isolated three videos were the subject of his criminal charges. No evidence of child pornography or conduct of a predator or pedophile was presented or determined regarding this matter”.

Edwards will ask the Court to appoint a public defender to handle the appeal because Rael is indigent.