Repeat child sex offender will serve years long sentence for latest case of exploitation

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Daniel Luna
Daniel Luna

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — A recidivist child sex offender living in Wilmington will serve at least nine years in prison after pleading guilty to  child pornography charges filed after he was caught looking at images on a public computer.

Daniel Luna, 58, pleaded guilty Wednesday in New Hanover County Superior Court to 32 counts of second-degree exploitation of a minor and five counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, according to a notice from District Attorney Ben David.

Luna was seen viewing images of child pornography on a public computer at the Employment Security Commission on March 18, 2015. The employees who witnessed the incident reported it to authorities. The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office arrested Luna on several child exploitation charges in April 2015.

After his arrest, detectives found an additional thumb-drive in Luna’s possession that contained multiple images of child sexual exploitation, David said.

Luna was previously convicted of violating the sex offender registry in August 2012 and third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor in June 2014 in Mecklenburg County, according to the North Carolina Department of Corrections.

His sex offender registry violation was in connection with a conviction in Hillsborough County, Florida, in May 2006,  according to the Florida sex offender registry. The offense occurred in April 1988 and involved a 12-year-old victim.

Sex offender registry records indicated that, at the time of his arrest in April 2015, Luna had been deemed a recidivist and was required to be on the registry for life.

On Wednesday, Superior Court Judge Phyllis M. Gorham ordered Luna to be placed on satellite-based monitoring, along with a life-time sex offender registration. Luna will be required to wear the monitoring device upon his release from prison. He was ordered to serve between 108-228 months in the North Carolina Department of Corrections.