INDIANAPOLIS — Two Indianapolis residents have been arrested and charged for sexually abusing and exploiting a child — who was less than 12-years-old — online.
According to United States Attorney, Josh J. Minkler, Bennie Schuck II and Amber Talley have been arrested and charged with Sexual Exploitation of a Child. Schuck, who admitted to that he exploited the child "fewer than 20 times," has been charged with Distribution of Child Pornography through an app called 'Kik Messenger.'
Both Schuck and Talley abused the female child, created images and sent them to one another through Kik, according to the criminal complaint. The female child reportedly told authorities the abuse had been happening for at least a year.
"People who prey on children and are brazen enough to share evidence of their crimes online must be held accountable," Minkler said. "At a time when parents proudly share their children's 'First Day of School' photos, we found evidence that the photos that Schuck and Talley created and shared were of the depraved abuse of an innocent little girl. Our children deserve to enjoy their childhood, free of sexual abuse, and exploitation."
The investigation began in Louisiana in April. Through the detection of online activities there, law enforcement officers discovered Schuck was using a Kik screen name to distribute sexual images of the minor.
Through social media and public records, investigators were able to identify Talley as someone who also participated in sexual exploitation.
The Indiana Crimes Against Children Task Force executed a search warrant on Thursday. After which, both Talley and Schuck admitted to engaging in sexual conduct, and creating and distributing images with the child.
"We want to take this opportunity to recognize the bravery of this child, who, after being repeatedly betrayed by adults in her life, still had the courage to trust that the police would help her," Minkler said. "This child pulled up on the search warrant scene in a car with two people who had abused her, but she left that night with people who worked to ensure her safety. We are proud to stand with our ICAC partners in rescuing children from sexual abuse and online exploitation."
Each of the defendants faces a possible sentence of up to 30 years in prison, according to Assistant United States Attorney, Kristina Korobov.