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Press Release

Previously Convicted Child Sex Offender Sentenced to 15 Years in Federal Prison for Trafficking Child Sex Abuse Material

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

INDIANAPOLIS – Adam L. Mahaffey, 39, of Martinsville, Indiana, was sentenced late yesterday to fifteen years in federal prison after pleading guilty to distributing visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct and possession of child sexual abuse material.

According to court documents, Mahaffey is a repeat sex offender against children, convicted in 2012 of child seduction in Johnson County Indiana. Beginning no later than January 2021, Mahaffey began using an end-to-end encrypted online application to communicate with other individuals. One of the people Mahaffey contacted reported to the FBI Oklahoma City Field Office that Mahaffey sent them videos containing child sexual abuse material.

Between January 24, 2021, and April 20, 2021, Mahaffey was communicating online with an undercover FBI agent. During those exchanges, Mahaffey talked at length about his interest in engaging in sex acts with children as young as five years old. Mahaffey sent the agent multiple images and videos of child sexual abuse material. Mahaffey also told the agent that he wanted to meet at a hotel in the Southern District of Indiana so that Mahaffey could engage in sex with two prepubescent girls.

On April 26, 2021, the FBI executed federal search warrants at Mahaffey’s residence in Martinsville. Agents recovered Mahaffey’s cellular phone which contained hundreds of images and videos depicting child sexual abuse material. The images and videos distributed and possessed by Mahaffey included depictions of the sexual abuse of a prepubescent child.

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

The FBI’s Violent Crimes Against Children Task Force investigated the case. The FBI Oklahoma City Field Office also provided valuable assistance. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt. As part of the sentence, Judge Pratt ordered that Mahaffey be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for 10 years following his release from federal prison and ordered Mahaffey to pay a $1,000 fine and restitution to each of the minor victims depicted in the images and videos he distributed and possessed. Mahaffey must also register as a sex offender wherever he lives, works, or goes to school, as required by law.

U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Tiffany J. Preston who prosecuted this case.

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.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Updated June 2, 2022

Project Safe Childhood