OKLAHOMA CITY — A judge sentenced an Oklahoma man to life in prison plus nearly 150 years more for hiding cameras in homes to capture images of girls, saying she would have ordered his castration if the law allowed.
Ryan Aaron Alden pleaded guilty in June to 28 felonies, including creating child pornography, aggravated possession of obscene material of minors and using video equipment in a clandestine manner.
"We're here because of the choices that you and you alone made," Oklahoma County District Judge Amy Palumbo told the 39-year-old Alden during sentencing Wednesday. "The devastation that you caused these families may never be known.
"If the law allowed me to have you castrated, I would. Because I think that that would begin to help solve your problem," she said.
Prosecutors said Alden hid cameras in the bedrooms, bathrooms and closets of four Oklahoma homes where he did electrical work. Police said they found child pornography on Alden's five computers and two phones.
Alden was also accused of secretly taking photos of girls in gyms, schools mall changing rooms and stores, the Oklahoman reported.
The investigation began in October 2018, said Assistant District Attorney Merydith Easter. At that time, there were two cameras still hidden in vents.
During the two-hour sentencing hearing, one parent said it took several days to make sense of what happened to their daughters.
"The day we found out what he did to our children, I could not breathe," the parent said. "... Our daughters were confused, they were afraid, they were ashamed. We did not know how to protect them."
Alden's attorney, Chris Sloan, said that although what his client did was wrong, his actions didn't justify spending the rest of his life in prison because he didn't touch any children. Sloan requested a 10-year prison sentence and probation.
Alden kept his head bowed for most of the hearing and apologized when he had the chance.