David Rael is handcuffed and taken into custody today for transportation to the New Mexico Corrections Department for a 60-day evaluation prior to sentencing. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com
First Judicial District Judge Mary Marlowe Sommers takes the bench today to announce her verdict. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com
SANTA FE – First Judicial District Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer found David Rael of Los Alamos guilty today of three counts of sexual exploitation of children – manufacture, one count of sexual exploitation of children – possession, and one count of sexual exploitation – distribution.
Sommers ordered Rael remanded into custody and transported to the New Mexico Corrections Department Diagnostics Center in Los Lunas for a 60-day evaluation prior to sentencing.
Assistant Attorney General Jason Yamato said he is very pleased with the outcome of the two-day trial.
“We made a strong case and an appropriate decision was made,” he said.
He added that Rael could face more than 30 years in prison if Judge Sommers applies the maximum sentence.
Assistant Attorney General Celedonia Munoz assisted in prosecuting the case, which originated in 2014. Los Alamos Police Cmdr. Oliver Morris was the law enforcement case lead and testified during the trial as well as former Special Agent Lance Fails, Albuquerque Police Det. C.J. Brown, who is on assignment to the Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory and Special Agent Owen Pena, a member of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
Defense Attorney Marc Edwards also called Steve Burgess, a computer forensics analyst to contest the findings of Brown and Pena.