Man gets 30 years for making child porn
By Ashley McLeod, Staff Writer
Feb 10, 2014, 13:12
CHESTERFIELD — A lifelong resident of the Colonial Heights and Chesterfield area was recently sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for production of child pornography.
Senior U.S. District Court Judge Robert E. Payne sentenced Lawrence Paul Sayers, 32, on Dec. 12, 2013, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
The charge arose following complaints to police from two girls that Sayers had sexually abused them. Chesterfield police officers executed a search on May 12, 2013, at Sayers’ residence in order to investigate.
The police recovered two locked cell phones during the search of Sayers’ home. The Federal Bureau of Investigation was contacted in order to unlock the phones for further investigation. After authorities gained access to the phones, a micro SD card was found in one, which contained approximately 40 images and five videos depicting an 8- to 9-year-old girl engaging in various sexual acts, both alone and with an adult male.
Sayers was interviewed June 28, 2013, by the FBI in regards to the content on the micro SD card. At this point, Sayers admitted to the agents that he was the individual responsible for capturing the videos and photos, and was also the man engaging in the activities with the minor.
During the FBI questioning, Sayers admitted that the abuse had begun approximately in 2010.
Following the interview with the FBI, Sayers was charged with four counts of production of child pornography, and on Sept. 12, 2013, pleaded guilty to one of the counts.
Sayers was also charged in Chesterfield. On Nov. 7, 2013, Sayers pleaded guilty in a Chesterfield courtroom to the attempted object sexual penetration of a child less than 13 years old, indecent liberties of a child, and two counts of aggravated sexual battery of a minor child less than 13 years old. Sentencing for these charges will be on March 6, 2014.
As for the charges in federal court, Sayers entered a plea agreement for his charge of production of child pornography. Sayers was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment on Dec. 12, 2013. The mandatory minimum sentence for this charge is 15 years, and the maximum is 30.
During his incarceration, Sayers will receive mental and sex offender treatment.
According to court records, Sayers grew up surrounded by abuse. Experts say those who have a history of experiencing physical, emotional and sexual abuse are more likely to commit similar abuses or other crimes themselves.
Leaving his home at 15-16, Sayers left high school early during his senior year and spent some time homeless, working various labor and construction jobs until he was 26 years old.
In 2007, at the age of 26, Sayers suffered an aneurism to his spinal cord, and was hospitalized for at least two months. Since then, Sayers has been on full disability and unable to work.
Court records explain that “he cannot use his right hand, he experiences tremors and spasms, nerve pain, inflammation of the knees and hips, and he must use a catheter.” The records also stated that Sayers is prescribed depression and anxiety medications.
In 2011, Sayers mother committed suicide in an overdose, mixing alcohol and prescriptions medications. She experienced substance abuse problems while alive.
While Sayers has no criminal history of committing sexual abuse, he does have prior convictions related to marijuana use.
According to court files, Sayers has been “remorseful and contrite, and experiences extreme guilt as a result of his actions.”
“While he deserves to be punished, he also needs treatment,” said Nia Ayanna Vidal, the assistant federal public defender.
Sayers will be imprisoned until he is at least 60 years old for the federal charges, followed by supervised probation for the remainder of his life. This sentence does not include punishment for his charges in Chesterfield.