Pair Charged with Creating Child Pornography of Toddler
CINCINNATI – A federal grand jury has charged two individuals – Ciera Richter, 25, of Cincinnati, and Jason Fletcher, 40, of Franklin, Ohio – with charges related to the selling of a child and creating child pornography in an indictment returned here yesterday afternoon.
Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and Steve Francis, Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), announced the charges.
According to court documents, Fletcher was previously convicted by the state of Ohio of importuning a minor, among other crimes. Under the terms of his probation, he was not to possess pornography of any kind.
In May 2017, during a visit with his probation officer, the officer noticed Fletcher had two mobile devices and, after having Fletcher provide access to the devices, started to review the phones’ contents. The probation officer found pornography of a minor female on one of the phones and Fletcher was subsequently arrested.
Search of the phone revealed, among a collection of child pornography, child pornography videos made with the phone. Some of the videos on the phone involve Fletcher, Richter and a two-year-old.
In the videos, Richter helps hold, entertain and position the toddler, while Fletcher records himself sexually abusing the child.
According to the indictment and other court documents, Richter procured a two-year-old for the purpose of making the videos and intended to sell the videos.
“The indictment alleges that Richter provided the toddler to Fletcher with the knowledge that as a consequence of the transfer, the two-year-old would be portrayed in child pornography,” U.S. Attorney Glassman said. “Offenses like those alleged here are among the most heinous, and most important, that we prosecute. We take seriously our duty and responsibility to keep children safe from those who would prey upon them.”
“Child pornography is the permanent record of a child being sexually exploited, and this victimization continues every time that image is transmitted, downloaded, shared or viewed,” said Steve Francis, Special Agent in Charge of HSI for Michigan and Ohio. “HSI special agents take special pride in their role of seeking justice on behalf of those who have been sexually exploited and victimized.”
Each defendant is charged with one count of conspiracy to produce child pornography and production of child pornography. Those crimes generally carry a potential sentence of 15 to 30 years in prison. Fletcher faces a potential range of 35 years to life in prison, because he has at least two prior state convictions for crimes involving children.
Richter is also charged with one count of selling a child, which is punishable by a range of 30 years to life in prison.
U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of this case by HSI and the Warren County Sheriff’s Department, as well as Assistant United States Attorney Megan Gaffney, who is prosecuting the case.
An indictment merely contains allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.
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