Shelby County woman, Prattville man indicted on child porn charges

BIRMINGHAM – A Shelby County woman and a Prattville man were indicted by a federal grand jury on felony child pornography charges on Tuesday, May 29, according to U.S. Attorney Jay Town and ICE Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Jere T. Miles.

Sarah Pauline Morris, 28, of Shelby County, and Kenneth Earl Hooks, 35, of Prattville, were indicted on charges of producing child pornography and “enticing a child to engage in sexual activity for the purpose of creating obscene images,” from December 2016 to August 2017.

The case was investigated by ICE-HSI and is prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Xavier Carter.

Morris and Hooks were initially found living in a desert area in the southern tip of California after police located a red Mitsubishi Montero with an Alabama license plate that was registered to Morris.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of Alabama, police had been searching for Morris’ vehicle after security officers at a Walmart in Brawley, California allegedly saw Morris attempting to film two female children in a bathroom stall in March. The store’s cameras picked up footage of her driving the vehicle.

“ICE-HSI and U.S. Marshals proved in this case that federal law enforcement is resolved to see child predators prosecuted, and that resolve doesn’t [waver] when fugitives flee across state lines,” Town said. “Our net will always be bigger than their map.”

If convicted of enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity for the purpose of producing child pornography, Morris and Hooks could face up to life in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. Producing child pornography can be penalized by 15 to 30 years in prison, as well as up to $250,000 in fines.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern Alabama District noted that an indictment only contains charges, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.