OKLAHOMA CITY – A man accused of secretly recording video of a “staggering” number of victims in their homes and in public places pleaded guilty to the crimes and was given a life sentence Wednesday.
Ryan Alden said afterward that he thinks he probably deserved the sentence for what he did.
He was working for a company that installed security systems in peoples’ homes. When the investigation began, cameras were found hidden in a Nichols Hills family home and an Oklahoma City family’s home. The cameras were installed behind vents pointing into the children’s bedrooms and bathrooms.
In his sentence hearing, a prosecutor with the state said investigators searched his computers and cell phones and found countless videos of more victims, many yet to be identified. An officer with the Edmond Police Department testified that there was enough video to fill 12 spindles of compact discs.
The videos were not only from other cameras in family’s bedrooms and bathrooms, but Alden was allegedly taking secret video up women’s skirts at restaurants, athletic centers, even churches around the Oklahoma City metro area.
Several victims or victims’ loved ones gave or read statements for the judge Wednesday. Some of the statements read were written by teenage victims who said their memories of high school, moments they felt they were safe in their home, were destroyed. Several said the trauma would mean years of therapy, and that they would always wonder if their image was out there on the internet floating around for people to see.
The investigation into whether the videos taken by Alden were shared is ongoing. Based on the fact that Alden had child pornography on his computer taken by other people, prosecutors said there’s a good chance it was shared. They said one usually has to share it first in order to receive it from others in return.
The defense brought forward Dr. Richard Kishur, a counselor who conducted a comprehensive psychosexual evaluation of Alden. Dr. Kishur said he believed Alden was treatable, and that there was a good chance that, with treatment, he wouldn’t continue to commit these crimes.
Alden’s defense attorney asked the judge to give him a five to ten-year prison sentence followed by life probation.
But Judge Amy Palumbo was not swayed. She said after thoroughly reading all of the reports entered for this case, no one could have changed her mind. Palumbo said she felt that if he were to be released, he would have nothing to lose and she believed he would commit these crimes again.
“If the law allowed me to have you castrated, I would,” she said.
On his way out of the courtroom, News 4 asked him questions regarding the decision.
Reporter: “Do you have anything to say to the victims?”
Alden: “I’m truly sorry.”
Reporter: “Do you know how many victims there are?”
Reporter: “You had an apology in there, would you like to repeat it?”
Alden: “I’m just truly sorry. That’s all I can say.”
Reporter: “Do you think you can rehabilitate or change?”
Alden: “I would hope so.”
Reporter: “Do you think a life sentence is fair?”
Alden: “Probably with everything I did, yes, but I can’t, I don’t know for sure.”
Loved ones of victims spoke on the condition of anonymity after the sentence was handed down, saying it’s the justice he deserves.
“The children, the little girls that were taped,” one said, “and they’re just never going to be able to trust anybody again.”