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Press Release

Evansville Man Sentenced to 8 Years in Federal Prison for Distributing Child Sexual Abuse Materials Through His Kik Account

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Indiana

EVANSVILLE– Joshua W. LaForrest, 28, of Evansville, Indiana, was sentenced to eight years in federal prison after pleading guilty to distribution of child sexual abuse materials.

According to court documents, law enforcement officers learned that LaForrest was transmitting images and videos of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct through his Kik account and his cellular telephone.

A search warrant was executed at LaForrest’s residence in Evansville on July 22, 2021. LaForrest was interviewed by police, and he admitted to posting videos containing child sexual abuse materials to a Kik discussion group on December 7, 2020, and February 28, 2021. During the search, police seized LaForrest’s cellular telephone. The cellular telephone was examined, and it contained communications between LaForrest’s Kik application, chat groups, and other individuals in which LaForrest transmitted and received child sexual abuse materials. The materials LaForrest transmitted and received included sexually explicit depictions of children under twelve years old.

Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, and Herbert J. Stapleton, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Indianapolis Field Office, made the announcement.

The FBI investigated the case. The Indiana State Police provided valuable assistance. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Richard L. Young. As part of the sentence, Judge Young ordered that LaForrest be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for seven years following his release from federal prison. LaForrest must also register as sex offender wherever he lives, works, or goes to school, as required by law.

U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd S. Shellenbarger who prosecuted this case.

This investigation was conducted by the Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, a partnership of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies led by the Indiana State Police. The Task Force is dedicated to investigating and prosecuting crimes involving the technology-facilitated sexual exploitation of children and the trafficking of child sexual abuse material. Each year, Indiana ICAC investigators evaluate thousands of tips, investigate hundreds of

cases, and rescue dozens of children from ongoing sexual abuse. In fiscal year 2019, the most recent year for which data is available, the Southern District of Indiana was second out of the 94 federal districts in the country for the number of child sexual exploitation cases prosecuted.

Updated October 25, 2022

Project Safe Childhood