LAUDERDALE COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - A Lauderdale County couple pleaded guilty on Wednesday to state charges of sodomy and production of obscene material.
In their plea agreements, both Ayers acknowledged they took photographs of a child engaged in lewd and lascivious poses, and that they each engaged in sexual acts with the child that the other adult photographed.
Matthew's plea on Wednesday included a guilty plea of a count of first degree sodomy of a child under the age of 12, and a count of a parent or guardian permitting a child under the age of 17 to engage in production of obscene material.
He will face a minimum of 20 years for each charge, and he is ineligible for probation.
He said he "committed a sex act" and "allowed pictures to be taken of the act."
"Sorry doesn't even begin to describe it," said Matthew when asked outside the courtroom about regrets.
Patricia Ayers pleaded guilty to sex charges with a child under the age of 12. According to her plea agreement, she agreed to serve life for both charges in addition to her federal charges.
Patricia also said she was sorry about what happened, but refused to comment further.
Assistant District Attorney Will Powell credits the joint effort from investigators on both the state and federal level.
"Other predators like this will not prey on children because when they get caught they will be prosecuted and there will be dire consequences," Powell said. "The only thing I regret is that I'm not allowed by Alabama law or by the United States' court law to give them the death penalty."
Despite the impossibility of parole, and given the horrific nature of the crimes, Powell feels it's just not enough.
"All we can do is everything we can do, and we feel like we've done that," Powell explained, "but it's still not enough when you harm a child like they did."
Sentencing for the couple will be Jan. 29 at 1:30 p.m.