Part 2: Just How Big Was the Operation Led by the LGBTQ Couple Who Abused Their Adopted Sons?
This is Part 2 of a four-part investigative series. Read Part 1 HERE.
Content Warning: This article contains graphic descriptions of child sexual abuse. Reader discretion is advised.
Part 1 of the Zulock saga covered how gay activists William Dale Zulock Jr. and Zachary “Zack” Jacoby Zulock, the adoptive fathers of two boys, have been indicted by a grand jury on a slew of felony child sex charges, including prostitution of a minor.
Count 16 and Count 17 of the indictment charges the Zulock couple with soliciting 27-year-old Hunter Clay Lawless and 25-year-old Luis Armando Vizcarro-Sanchez, both of Loganville, to engage in “an act of prostitution” with their 11-year-old adopted boy.
Hours before the Zulocks were arrested on July 27, Lawless was apprehended earlier in the day by Walton County detectives on a warrant for felony sexual exploitation of children after downloading child pornography of the older Zulock boy, per an affidavit.
Authorities were tipped off that Lawless uploaded and stored child sexual abuse material (CSAM) on his Google account through an “emergency CyberTip” sent to the nationwide Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force network and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children child protective organization, the affidavit says, noting that “numerous” other CyberTips were generated with the same Gmail address. One of these photographs, which contained metadata indicating it was created with an iPhone on Dec. 9, 2021, showed a prepubescent child being forced to perform oral sodomy on an adult male, per the affidavit. The victim’s age was “ascertained based on physical size/stature size relative to the male’s penis…and facial features.”
During a Mirandized audio-video interview, Lawless admitted that he both knew the sexually abused child was approximately 10 years of age as well as his legal name, the affidavit concludes. At the time the one child pornographic photo in question was created on the mobile device, the Zulock boy was still 9-years-old and would turn the age of 10 a week later on Dec. 15, 2021.
Law enforcement learned from Lawless there was “a secondary suspect” “producing homemade child sexual abuse material with at least one adopted child who lived in the home with the perpetrator,” Walton County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a press release.
Lawless allegedly met Zachary through a mutual contact named “Blake” on Grindr, an LGBTQ hook-up app, and received “numerous” Snapchat messages from Zachary saying, “I’m going to f*ck my son tonight,” and to “stand by” for graphic visuals of the father raping his child. According to what Lawless told police, Zachary also invited Lawless “multiple times” to engage in sexual acts with him and his two adopted kids, but Lawless denied having had any physical contact with the Zulock boys.
While investigators first conducted a search warrant at Lawless’s house, the suspect ID’ed Zachary via his Facebook page. Investigators confirmed through the county’s school system that the child was enrolled there and obtained a home address.
Deputies discovered evidence during the nighttime search-and-research effort at the Zulock mansion that “the adoptive fathers of the sibling pair residing in the home were engaging in sexually abusive acts and video documenting this abuse.” Police also found clothes in the child’s bedroom that matched what the boy was wearing in the CSAM that Zachary allegedly sent Lawless.
Lawless, the son of a hairstylist who lives with his mother, was quickly released two days after his arrest and has been out on $25,000 bond since July 29. No one picked up the phone when Townhall called the Lawless household and his mom’s hair salon.
Vizcarro-Sanchez, the other accused pedophile who was allegedly solicited by the Zulocks to engage in prostitution with their son, is facing a plethora of unrelated charges, including felony enticing of another child for indecent purposes. A warrant issued for Vizcarro-Sanchez’s arrest on Sept. 2 says he acknowledged sending a 13-year-old boy, who resided within the same home as Vizcarro-Sanchez, pornographic videos of other children he believed to be the victim’s age as a means to coerce the child.
The nature of Vizcarro-Sanchez’s relation to the victim and their living situation are not yet apparent.
Vizcarro-Sanchez, a former Kroger employee, is also charged with multiple counts of felony computer theft, felony shoplifting, and theft by taking at the Kroger supermarket location in Loganville after the ex-retail clerk was allegedly caught on the grocery store’s surveillance footage conducting fraudulent sale transactions of $50 to $200 Apple iTunes gift cards, Nintendo Wii gift cards, Sony gift cards, and consumable goods at a cash register while he was working shifts between December 2018 and July 2020.
Affidavit statements allege that Vizcarro-Sanchez manipulated the computer terminal by using unauthorized store coupons and hijacking another manager’s override code to “write off” the shoplifted items as paid for, then pocketing the stolen merchandise.
Now making a meager $425-per-week working some unknown occupation, Vizcarro-Sanchez is being represented by a court-appointed public defender on all theft charges, as well as the sex crimes against children, after the state declared he is indigent.
Vizcarro-Sanchez is smirking in his mugshot taken upon booking at Walton County Jail and remains detained pending bail.
A quick look into Vizcarro-Sanchez’s digital footprint shows he’s an avid gamer obsessed with anime. His current Facebook cover photo portrays a fictional character from a Japanese anime series who “strives to bring justice to the world” while his YouTube channel has clips of himself playing the Street Fighter-style video game. Before his short-lived Kroger gig, Vizcarro-Sanchez once attended the state championship for a popular Japanese trading card game to battle out who is “the best Cardfighter in Georgia.”
Zachary, the cameraman whose cell phone allegedly contained a folder—titled “US”—storing videos of his husband, William, sexually abusing their older son, confessed in a recorded police interview to sending child pornographic material of the “routine” sexual abuse to “less than a dozen people.” Zachary, whose Snapchat username is advertised on Instagram, has unopened Snapchat chats with many men, according to a concerned family member who was granted access to his social media accounts.
Aside from Lawless and Vizcarro-Sanchez, there are other potential co-defendants in the ongoing Georgia criminal case that are still under investigation and “out there” distributing videos of the Zulock boys, Alcovy Judicial Circuit District Attorney Randy McGinley, who serves Walton County, told the court at a Sept. 7 bond hearing, according to a transcript provided to Townhall.
Could the Zulock couple face federal charges? How far-reaching is the pedophile ring and will other members be unmasked?
“We decline to comment,” a public affairs officer in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia replied when Townhall inquired if the U.S. Department of Justice has any interest in investigating and prosecuting a federal case against the Zulock co-defendants. Last year, Georgia’s DOJ office pursued a handful of child sex crimes-related cases in its jurisdiction.
(As Townhall previously reported, the Biden administration’s DOJ is preoccupied with targeting peaceful pro-life leaders and rounding up elderly Christian preachers who stand up for innocent unborn life. One father, who protested outside of an abortion clinic in Georgia’s northwest neighbor Tennessee, was arrested at home by a swarm of armed FBI agents in front of his children.)
Child pornography is illegal contraband under federal law, which prohibits the production, distribution, importation, reception, or possession of child sexual abuse imagery, and federal jurisdiction is implicated if the offense occurred in “interstate commerce,” as the DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), whose mission it is “to protect the welfare of America’s children and communities by enforcing federal criminal statutes relating to the exploitation of children and obscenity,” explains. Federal jurisdiction “almost always applies when the Internet is used to commit a child pornography violation,” according to the DOJ.
Child sex trafficking is prohibited by 18 U.S.C. § 1591. “Most people think of ‘trafficking’ as involving movement across state or international borders. However, Section 1591 does not require proof that either the defendant or victim crossed state or international lines,” per the DOJ. “When the victim is a minor, Section 1591 does not require proof that the defendant used force, threats of force, fraud, or coercion, or any combination of those means, to cause the minor to engage in a commercial sex act.”
Following the armed raid, a sign on the Zulock mansion now says: “Do not enter. Property of the Walton County Sheriff’s Office.”
At the September bond hearing, Judge Jeffrey L. Foster mentioned the prosecution possibly proceeding forward under the child sex trafficking statute of the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act known as O.C.G.A. § 16-14-4.
“Having been proceeding under RICO—I don’t know if they are proceeding forward under the child sex trafficking statute, but there are collateral, civil opportunities that the state can proceed [with],” Foster told the Zulock couple’s criminal defense attorney John E. Haldi, who was questioning the seizure’s legality. “So their assets have been seized pending the resolution of those.”
To combat “the increasing sophistication of various criminal elements,” the Georgia General Assembly adopted the RICO Act and developed the state’s RICO statute from the existing 1970 federal law that’s designed to take down organized crime in the U.S.
The state must prove that the defendant facing RICO charges committed two or more predicate crimes and that such predicate acts were committed as part of an “enterprise” engaging in a “pattern of racketeering activity.” As listed by O.C.G.A. § 16-14-3, “racketeering activity” can be defined as including prostitution, “keeping a place of prostitution, pimping, and pandering.”
In Georgia, the state also possesses the power to impose civil remedies. A judge may order a defendant to give up any business interest or property that was gained through a RICO violation, according to the Atlanta-based Pate, Johnson & Church law firm.
The custom-designed Zulock mansion, which was suspiciously constructed within half a year, was seized after a probable cause seizure warrant was signed by a judge. Before the Oxford mansion’s construction, the Zulock couple lived with the boys in a small-scale Snellville house. The couple’s wealth allegedly materialized after the boys moved in. DA McGinley’s office, which handles forfeitures—considered civil proceedings—has filed a civil complaint seeking to forfeit the Zulock couple’s property.
But, at the local level, the Zulock co-defendants were not charged with RICO Act violations or child sex trafficking.
“My office has reviewed the case and recommended to the Grand Jury what charges were appropriate based on the law and the facts…” DA McGinley wrote in an email to Townhall discussing the 17-count indictment. “Sex trafficking was not charged and neither was a violation of the RICO Act. Again, that is based on the facts and circumstances of this specific case and the law.”
Zachary had contacted a few out-of-state gay Facebook friends to reconnect after getting the boys, the family member told Townhall. The relative also noticed Zachary, who follows gay pornographers in Atlanta with his Twitter account “@GAbottomguy,” appeared to have been “testing the waters” in several relationships, asking in Messenger chats if his friends were happily cuffed.
The couple took an excessive amount of family trips, the source said, staying at a number of Airbnbs across America. Just before July’s police bust, in May and June 2022, the Zulocks enjoyed a lengthy Airbnb stay in Chicago, Illinois. While sight-seeing, the couple donned Pride gear and Zachary focused on photographing tourist attractions that signaled support for LGBTQ inclusion.
Between those two months last year, the Zulocks also went to Ohio; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Gulf Shores, Alabama, a go-to vacation spot for gay tourists as well as the Zulock family. (The couple was considering buying a condo there, too.)
During one of the family’s excursions in May 2018 to a Gulf Shores pizza place, Zachary had drawn a rainbow circle around a portion of a children’s menu for kids ages 12 and under that jokingly quipped: “Children Unattended Will Be Sold As Slaves!”
“Also with [the boys],” Zachary wrote in the tongue-and-cheek Facebook post about child slavery.
Zachary also posted a questionable photo in August 2020, captioned: “Waiting for #pizza.” According to journalist Andy Ngo, the phrase could be a dog whistle for pedophiles seeking child exploitative material. Reports say child predators have typed “cheese pizza” as code for child pornography, and pizza emojis are reportedly used to find, sell, and trade images of child sexual abuse.
Other destinations over the years include New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and a cabin in Pigeon Forge, Tennesee.
The nationwide road trip also took the Zulocks to the nation’s capital, where in September 2019, in addition to a White House tour, the Zulock family took a selfie in front of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC)’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.
HRC is a prominent LGBTQ+ advocacy group, the largest gay lobbying civil rights organization of its kind within the U.S.
At the beginning of last year, the couple ordered a massive, framed map of the United States showcasing “The Adventures of The Zulock Family,” which Zachary had planned to mount to a wall somewhere in their mansion. “It’s bigger than I thought…got to find a place to hang it and start pinning where we have gone!!!” Zachary exclaimed in an early January 2022 post on Facebook.
Not Just Georgia
As documented by reports in other U.S. states, Snapchat and Grindr have become modern-day honeypots for lurking pedophiles everywhere to connect with fellow child predators, circulate child pornography, and contact minors to sexually abuse them.
A spokesperson for Snap, Inc., which owns Snapchat, wrote in an email to Townhall: “Any sexual abuse of minors is abhorrent and illegal and we have dedicated teams that work closely with law enforcement, experts and industry partners to combat it. If we become aware of any sexual content involving minors, whether it’s identified through our proactive detection technology or reported to us through our confidential in-app reporting tools, we immediately remove it and report it to the authorities.
“We prohibit young people under the age of 13 from using Snapchat, and we have extra protections for Snapchatters under 18 that make it even harder for them to be discovered and contacted by people they don’t know,” the email statement reads.
Reports of child sexual exploitation and child sexual abuse are reviewed by the company’s Trust and Safety teams, the spokesperson told Townhall. Evidence of such illegal activity results in immediate Snapchat account termination—with no chance for reinstatement—and is reported to the NCMEC, which then coordinates with domestic and international law enforcement. For CSAM imagery, the camera company uses PhotoDNA image-identification, and for videos, it utilizes Google’s CSAI Match.
Family members now suspect that the Zulocks censored their children’s faces to evade law enforcement’s detection technology.
Stay tuned for Part 3, to be released on Thursday, January 19, 2023, detailing how Zachary was accused of being a child rapist prior to the adoption—but was never charged—and how Georgia’s child-welfare system failed these two boys.