A San Tan Valley man has been sentenced to 27 years in prison for molesting and photographing juvenile boys, some in Apache Junction.
On March 25, Neil Richard Anderson, was sentenced by Pinal County Superior Judge Boyd T. Johnson to 27 years in prison without parole for molesting five juvenile boys and photographing three of the boys in various stages of nudity, according to a press release issued by the Apache Junction Police Department.
Anderson pled guilty to one count of sexual conduct with a minor and four counts of attempted molestation of a minor; he will serve life-time probation as a sex offender.
Jason Holmberg from the Pinal County Attorney’s Office prosecuted the case.
On Aug. 14, 2012, AJPD received information that Anderson was in possession of 29 photographs of three different juvenile males in sexually explicit poses, according to the press release.
The photographs were initially discovered by a family friend of Anderson at an address in San Tan Valley. Anderson was renting the residence from the family friend at the time the photographs were inadvertently discovered, police said.
During the initial investigation by AJPD’s Criminal Investigation Division, police Detective Gary Vance identified three boys in the photographs. Detective Vance further identified that the photographs were taken at an address in Apache Junction, the release said.
A search warrant was executed on Anderson’s residence in San Tan Valley, where police say they recovered more incriminating evidence.
During interviews with the now-identified juvenile victims, they revealed Anderson started befriending them by buying them toys, clothes and taking them camping, according to the release. All the victims were children of family friends, and the children referred to Anderson as “Uncle Neil.”
Anderson was arrested Aug. 15, 2012 by detectives. During an interview he made admissions to both photographing and molesting the boys, police said. He also identified the victims, their ages and the location of each victim.