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Los Alamos resident David Rael, who was arrested in late May for allegedly downloading child porn onto his computers, was released on a $5,000 cash bond Tuesday. He is due for his next appearance in court mid-August.
Rael was arrested in late May when he showed up in a computer data sweep conducted by the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office about a year ago. Agents assigned to the case were investigating the sharing of child pornography files within the state
In July of last year, agents seized Rael’s computers during their investigation, after tracing and matching computer addresses and download records to Rael’s computers.
In December and February of 2013 officials with the New Mexico Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory met with detectives in the Los Alamos Police Department to discuss their findings.
According to a report from the New Mexico Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory, Rael allegedly downloaded five videos from a peer-to-peer site showing nude girls 11-to- 16 years old involved in various sexual situations. Rael was arrested this May after LAPD detectives were successfully able to build a case against Rael.
During their initial interview with Rael last July when agents from the attorney general’s office confiscated his equipment, Rael denied intentionally viewing child pornography.
“Mr. Rael did elude that he had observed what he believed as underaged boys and girls in the pre-stages of a pornography scene and that these children were nude in certain videos but he would exit out of those videos and not continue to watch them,” police said in a report on the matter.
When asked about the videos he downloaded, Rael told police it must of been due to his poor eyesight or that he was intoxicated at the time he downloaded them.
While Rael is out on bail, Judge Pat Casados ordered Rael not to have face-to-face contact with his daughters, ages 12 and 16, and any phone calls to them are only to be made in the presence of Rael’s mother.
He was also instructed to stay away from children, the Internet and computers. Casados also stepped up his probation requirements which stemmed from an earlier DUI offense, ordering him to report daily to his probation officer and continue to be electronically monitored.
His bail was originally set at $50,000 but Rael’s attorney, Bill Snowden, argued for a much lower bail. “These charges stemmed from an incident that happened July 9, 2013. He wasn’t charged, he was allowed out until May of this year,” he said. “ ... It is the defense’s position that if Mr. Rael was a danger to society he would have been put in jail July 9, 2013. Instead, the state allowed him to go free.”