Vestavia Hills doctor gets 30 years in prison for child porn, secretly recording teens undressing
A Vestavia Hills doctor convicted of producing and possessing child pornography was sentenced Wednesday to federal prison.
Dr. Ronald Tai Young Moon Jr., 56, was convicted in February after five days of testimony before U.S. District Judge Annemarie Axon. He has now been sentenced to 30 years in prison, according to an announcement Thursday by U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona and FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp, Jr.
Moon’s sentencing hearing began at 1 p.m. Wednesday and lasted for hours. In addition to the lengthy sentence, Moon was ordered to serve five years of supervised release and, by law, will also be required to register as a sex offender.
“Unfortunately, this sentence will not undo the harm suffered by Moon’s victims,” Escalona said. “However, understanding that the consequences of this conduct is severe might discourage other sexual predators from victimizing innocent children in this district.”
“I am proud of the effort put forth by my agents in order to ensure this defendant was brought to justice and will no longer be able to harm children,” Sharp said. “Moon serving the next 30 years in federal prison ensures there is one less predator victimizing the most innocent and vulnerable members of our community.”
Moon, who lives in Liberty Park and up until his arrest last year practiced at his clinic in Birmingham, has worked as a physical medicine doctor at The Industrial Athlete located in Birmingham. The FBI investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney John B. Ward and First Assistant U.S. Attorney Lloyd Peeples prosecuted. Moon’s defense team includes James Parkman, William White and Clayton Tartt.
Moon was arrested June 4, 2019 on charges of producing and possessing child pornography. According to his practice’s Facebook page, Moon practiced osteopathic manual techniques and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders. As part of his holistic practice, Moon offered Suboxone treatments to help fight opioid dependency.
Federal investigators raided The Industrial Athlete as part of an ongoing probe into health care fraud. The health care fraud investigation was led by the DEA, HHS, and FBI. He was not charged with any fraud-related crimes.
It was during the 2019 search that investigators found 27 VHS tapes in Moon’s private office at The Industrial Athlete alongside a television-VCR combination. Authorities also found evidence of covert cameras and instruction manuals for the cameras, Evidence at trial proved that between the mid-1990s and about 2012, Moon secretly recorded neighbors and guests in his own home, including minors as young as 12 and 13 years. Some of those individuals were filmed naked, both dressing and undressing.
Moon was accused of filming teen girls undressing in his pool house without their knowledge and possessing commercial pornography depicting what experts categorized as a rare amount of sexual violence. The FBI, with assistance from the DEA, led the investigation into the child pornography charges.
At an earlier hearing, FBI Intelligence Analyst Tina Mauldin, who has worked in that capacity for 25 years and examined “hundreds of thousands” of child pornographic images, testified as to what she saw on the tapes seized from Moon’s office.
Of the 27 tapes, Mauldin said, 25 of them contained pornography. Of those 25, about six or seven involved “child pornography.”
She said the view on those tapes was from a camera hidden in a residential bathroom, alleged to be at Moon’s home on Reynolds Lane in Liberty Park. The videos, she said, involved young teen girls changing into and out of their bathing suits. At times they were naked, and their breasts and genitalia visible on the recordings. Some were also seen going to the bathroom.
One of the recordings, she testified, shows Moon walking into the bathroom and looking directly at the camera. She said he was clearly identifiable in the image.
Mauldin said investigators identified five of the teen girls and interviewed them. The girls were able to identify themselves and each other in recordings, she said, and all said they had no idea they were being recorded. They had attended a pool party at his home. They were shown the images of the man that appeared in the same bathroom and identified him as Moon.
Mauldin also testified to other records described by authorities as voyeuristic. They involved two different families and appeared to have been recorded at night and from outside of a window into the homes. Both adults and children were seen naked in those recordings and also were unaware they were being recorded in various stages of undress.
As for commercial videos recovered from Moon’s office, Mauldin testified they included “bondage, torture, beating, rape, electrocution of genitals, attempted drowning, suspension from the ceiling, forced eating of feces and forced drinking of urine.”
Under questioning by prosecutors, Mauldin said those recordings depicted “the worst violence I’ve ever seen,” in her career as an FBI analyst. She said of the hundreds of thousands of pornographic images or recordings she’s examined, those in Moon’s possession rose to “a rare level of violence.”