Cops & courts: Clovis man sentenced in child pornography case

A district judge sentenced a Clovis man Tuesday to five years in prison for his part in the production of child pornography in 2004.

Marcus Ray, 19, pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit sexual exploitation of a child by manufacturing and one count of sexual exploitation of a child by prostitution, a press release from the district attorney’s office said.

On April 28, detectives from the Clovis Police Department discovered photographs of Ray and a female minor engaging in sexual acts, the press release said. Prosecutors said the female victim was Ray’s girlfriend at the time.

It was later found Ray had knowledge she was being paid for posing in the photographs and she was a minor.

In all, there were three victims in the case — females aged 13, 15 and 16 at the time of the crimes, reports show.

Two others were arrested in the case: the mother of one of the victims for allegedly prostituting her daughter, and Rocky Fleming, 41, for videotaping and manufacturing copies of the tapes.

Fleming pleaded guilty to five counts of manufacturing child pornography last year and in November he was sentenced to 35 years in prison.

Charges against the mother of one of the victims are still pending, officials said this week.

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The district attorney’s office announced Thursday that Eric Branch, 30, pleaded guilty of three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and eight counts of distribution of marijuana.

Branch was sentenced to four years in jail and five years of supervised probation once released.

According to officials, the offenses occurred between February and December of 2004. Several teenage girls from 14 to 17 years old told Clovis officers Branch provided them with alcohol and marijuana in his home.

However, prosecutors were particularly worried about Branch because he was convicted of criminal sexual penetration of a minor in 1993 following a guilty plea agreement.

According to police reports, the girls told police Branch knew they were minors.

There was no indication on the investigation report that Branch had sexual contact with any of the girls.

Cops and Courts is compiled by CNJ staff writer David Irvin. He can be contacted at 763-6991 or: david_irvin@link.freedom.com