Convicted sex offenders in Indiana are required to report their address, work place, e-mail address and other information to the state as a precaution against further violations. This information is contained in an online database known as the Indiana Sex Offender Registry. This program is intended to serve as a warning system that will help people in Indiana avoid contact with sexual predators. Unfortunately, the system has occasional failures, as demonstrated by a recent federal court indictment of a former youth minister and registered sex offender.
The indictment alleges that the defendant met his 14-year-old victim through his work and began contacting her through social media. Police allege that the defendant secretly met with the victim at least 15 times. The meetings were allegedly conducted at the defendant’s residence, in his vehicle and in a church office.
The indictment also alleges that the suspect enticed the victim to take pornographic images of herself with her cell phone and send the images to him. The defendant is also alleged to have sent the victim sexually explicit images of himself. The defendant allegedly told the girl that he would leave the area if the images were discovered and that he could retaliate against her if she reported their relationship to the police.
The defendant has been charged with coercion and enticement, sexual exploitation of a child, six counts of receiving and possessing child pornography and commission of an offense by a registered sex offender. According to the prosecutor’s office, because the defendant is a registered sex offender, he could face decades in prison if he is convicted. Anyone facing similar charges may wish to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney for an evaluation of the evidence and law that govern the case and for suggestions about various defensive strategies.
Source: TheIndiana Lawyer, “Former youth pastor indicted on child exploitation, pornography charges,” Feb. 16, 2018