Platte City restaurant owner charged in child porn case asks community to wait for his day in court before passing judgment
The owner of a Platte City restaurant that was recently named the Chamber of Commerce’s Business of the Year said he is not guilty of possessing child pornography.
“I’m 100 percent innocent,” said Jeremy Ray, owner of J-Ray’s Restaurant. “People that know me know that’s not the kind of person I am, that I’m not capable of doing stuff like that.”
As reported last week at Plattecountycitizen.com, Ray was charged with the Class B felony of possession of child pornography. The charge was filed by the Clay County Prosecutor’s Office June 13 and alleges that Ray downloaded and possessed files containing child pornography.
Ray, 35, who lives in Kansas City in Clay County, said once he learned of the charge, he immediately turned himself in. He plead not guilty to the charge July 1 and posted a $15,000 surety bond. His next scheduled court appearance is Sept. 5 in Clay County Division 7 court in Liberty. If he is convicted of the charge, Ray faces a 5-to-15 year prison sentence.
According to Clay County court documents, an online investigation conducted by the Western Missouri Cyber Crimes Taskforce that began last December eventually led authorities to Ray’s residence at 101 NE 83rd Street, where a search warrant was served March 25. Two computers were found in the search. According to the court documents, when asked if there would be child pornography on his computer, Ray replied, “possibly.” A forensic exam of the two computers later uncovered 113 image files and 179 video files of suspected child pornography.
Ray said that his attorney, Gregory Abella, of Kansas City, told him not to discuss details of the case. However, when asked how the alleged child pornography images got on computers in his house, Ray said he was not sure, only that he personally did not download them.