Federal authorities uncover sexual abuse and online exploitation
INDIANAPOLIS - United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced today that Bennie Schuck II and Amber Talley, both from Indianapolis, have been arrested and charged with the Sexual Exploitation of a Child for their acts against a child who was less than 12 years old. Schuck was also charged with the Distribution of Child Pornography using Kik Messenger. According to the criminal complaint, both Schuck and Talley sexually abused a minor female, who reported that the abuse had been on-going for at least a year. Schuck and Talley created images of the abuse, which they sent to each other, depending on who took the images. Schuck admitted to police that he had exploited the child “fewer than 20 times.” Schuck also sent the sexually explicit images of the child to a woman through Kik Messenger, which led to the detection of Schuck and Talley’s crimes.
“People who prey on children and are brazen enough to share evidence of their crimes online must be held accountable,” said Minkler. “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.”
This investigation began in April of 2019, when police in Louisiana investigated the online activities of another individual, who distributed and received sexually explicit images online. As a result of the investigation, law enforcement officers discovered Schuck was using a Kik screen name to distribute images containing the sexual exploitation of a child to whom Schuck had access.
Using social media and public records, law enforcement identified Talley as a female whom participated in the sexual exploitation. The Indiana Crimes Against Children Task Force executed a search warrant on August 8, 2019. According to the Complaint, both Shuck and Talley admitted to engaging in illegal sexual conduct with the child. Both parties admitted to creating images of the sexual conduct, and Schuck admitted to distributing images online.
“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 2 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.”
According to Assistant United States Attorney Kristina M. Korobov, who is prosecuting the case for the government, defendants each face a possible sentence of up to 30 years in prison.
A complaint is only a charge and not evidence of guilt. All parties are presumed innocent until proven otherwise in federal court.
In October 2017, United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced a Strategic Plan designed to shape and strengthen the District’s response to its most significant public safety challenges. This prosecution demonstrates the office’s firm commitment to utilize and partner with law enforcement agencies to prosecute individuals engaged in the sexual exploitation of children. See United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Indiana Strategic Plan Section 4.1 and 4.2.