SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - A Charlotte man who was investigated by the Rowan Sheriff's Office and Homeland Security for producing child pornography has been sentenced to 25 years in federal prison, according to a news release from the Department Of Justice.
Stephen Paul Aydelotte, 48, of Charlotte, pleaded guilty on September 14, 2017, to one count of production of child pornography. He was sentenced by United States District Judge William L. Osteen, Jr. to 25 years imprisonment followed by lifetime supervised release.
Aydelotte was previously convicted in Utah of attempted sexual exploitation of a minor and twice failing to register as a sex offender, and in North Carolina of failing to register as a sex offender.
In February 2017, Aydelotte alerted authorities that, while living in High Point, North Carolina in 2012, he took photographs of himself sexually exploiting a prepubescent minor. Investigators where then able to recover the photographs from Aydelotte's phone.
Aydelotte also admitted to sexually molesting two minor girls in Utah in 1989.
According to the press release, the United States recommended, and Aydelotte received, a degree of leniency in his sentence because Aydelotte voluntarily disclosed his criminal conduct, which otherwise would have not likely come to light, according to the press release.
Both Homeland Security and the Rowan Sheriff's Office are members of the North Carolina Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of online child sexual exploitation and abuse.
Led by United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.