A Ferrelview, Mo., man received 40 years in federal prison Tuesday, Dec. 16, sentenced for using four young victims to produce child pornography as part of a nationwide ring. On March 4, 2014, Raymond M. Appling, 32, pleaded guilty to four counts of producing or attempting to produce child pornography. Appling admitted that he took pornographic photos and videos of four child victims, which he shared with others.
The Kansas City (Mo.) Police Department executed a search warrant on Appling’s residence in Platte County in February of 2012.
A forensic examination of his computers and cameras determined that an external hard drive had been wiped and reformatted. Evidence on the external hard drive indicated that videos with a sexual theme, including child pornography, were once stored on it. Evidence indicated that some of the movies that were once on the external hard drive were sent through the use of an encrypted instant messaging program.
In addition, a large number of Yahoo! messenger chat fragments were recovered from several log files dated Feb. 4, 2011 through July 5, 2011. In many of the conversations, participants, including Appling and three other suspects, said they were actively engaged in sexual abuse and/or child pornography. There were also several unidentified participants engaged in the online chats.
FBI agents had previously identified two suspects — one in Colorado and one in San Diego, Calif. — that linked Appling to the child pornography ring. In an interview with Kansas City police, Appling identified a third member of the child pornography ring located in Pennsylvania.
The other members of the child pornography ring are being prosecuted in other jurisdictions.
Appling admitted that he took a child victim, identified as Jane Doe No. 1, to visit the San Diego suspect, whom he knew had a sexual attraction to minors. Appling also took pornographic photos of Jane Doe No. 1 when she was eight years old.
Appling also took photos of a second child victim, identified as Jane Doe No. 2, including ones with Jane Doe No. 1 and her together in the shower. Jane Doe No. 2 also told investigators that she had met the San Diego suspect at Appling’s home.
Appling took photos of a third child victim, identified as Jane Doe No. 3, while she was asleep on his couch. A series of photos depicts Appling moving Jane Doe No. 3’s clothes so that she is exposed, and Appling touching her.
Appling also produced a movie of a 12-year-old victim, identified as Jane Doe No. 4, while she was undressing and getting ready to take a shower.