GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — A former North Carolina church day school employee was sentenced Monday to 50 years in prison followed by 20 years of supervised release for production and distribution of child pornography, according to a news release from the Department of Justice.
Alyson Brooke Saunders, 25, of Greensboro, pleaded guilty to one count of production of child pornography and one count of distribution of child pornography on Nov. 5, 2020.
According to court documents, in or about January and February 2019, while employed at Fellowship Presbyterian Church’s Fellowship Day School, Saunders admitted to using five minor victims in her care to create sexually explicit images and videos, including some in which she also engaged in hands-on sexual abuse of some of the children, according to the Department of Justice.
Saunders then sent these images and videos to an online co-conspirator, with the knowledge that he intended to post them on the internet.
“The defendant in this case exploited her position as a caregiver to produce sexually explicit images of vulnerable young children with the purpose of providing the images to a co-conspirator,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid, of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “Thanks to a proactive investigation by our law enforcement partners and the department’s continued commitment to combatting child sexual exploitation, the defendant was apprehended and received a significant penalty for her heinous crimes.”
“When people in positions of trust and responsibility exploit children it not only steals the child’s innocence, it can also teach them not to trust any more, which can cause lifelong trauma,” said Special Agent in Charge Ronnie Martinez, of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) North Carolina. “Thanks to the great work done by HSI and its law enforcement partners, this predator will no longer be able to victimize children or spread those disturbing images.”
HSI in Winston-Salem investigated the case with assistance from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations.