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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Ohio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 24, 2018

Six Ohio Men Charged with Crimes Related to Sexually Abusing Children, Creating Child Pornography

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Six Ohio men who met on Craigslist have been charged with crimes related to producing child pornography and the repeated sexual abuse of at least two 10-year-old girls.

Four of the men were charged in a second superseding indictment returned by a federal grand jury yesterday. They include: William G. Weekley, 34, of Newark; Timothy F. Sullivan, 49, of Canal Winchester; Franklin Eugene Perry, 62, of Columbus; and Brian S. Perkins, 42, of Mt. Vernon.

A fifth defendant, Grant Michalski, 28, of Columbus, was charged by criminal complaint yesterday.

In a third case, a federal grand jury indicted Eric Zevely, 33, of Columbus. He was also indicted yesterday.

Court documents were unsealed today.

Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Angela L. Byers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, Steve Francis, Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Franklin County Sheriff Dallas Baldwin, Westerville Police Chief Joseph Morbitzer and other members of the FBI Crimes Against Children Task Force announced the charges.

This investigation began when Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations Special Agent/FBI Task Force Officer Larry McCoy communicated undercover with Weekley online. From that initial investigation into Weekley, investigators were able to discover the additional defendants.

According to court documents, the defendants allegedly made online contact with each other and others who shared, or whom they believed to share, their sexual interest in minors, incest and child pornography.

After making initial contact through Craigslist, Weekley communicated with each of the other defendants on an ongoing basis through text and various other apps, including Wickr.

It is alleged that Weekley, who was initially arrested in January and indicted in February, had regular access to a female child (Jane Doe), who was approximately 10 to 11 years old during the offenses detailed. Weekley sexually abused Jane Doe and created images and videos of the molestation, which he shared with others, including some of the co-defendants.

Images of the abuse – which occurred from at least October 2017 until January 2018 – depicted the young girl engaged in oral and anal intercourse as well as bestiality.

Weekley and Perry discussed sexually abusing Jane Doe together, and made plans for Perry to join Weekley in the sexual abuse of Jane Doe. Perry allegedly encouraged Weekley to continue abusing the victim and did eventually sexually abuse the victim together with Weekley.

Likewise, Perkins and Sullivan requested that Weekley bring Jane Doe to meet them for the purpose of sexually abusing Jane Doe, but it is not believed that Perkins or Sullivan actually met with Weekley.

Weekley and Michalski messaged on Craigslist about interests in sexual topics like “family, forced” and “K9 and more.”

Zevely engaged in thousands of communications with numerous other individuals in response to ads placed on Craigslist, including with Weekley. Investigators discovered Zevely allegedly sexually abused a different 10-year-old victim who was not Jane Doe. Zevely is also alleged to have engaged in communications about sexually abusing minors with both HSI and FBI undercover task force officers.

Weekley is charged with one count of attempted coercion of a minor (10 years to life in prison), three counts of production of child pornography (15 to 30 years in prison per count), three counts of distributing child pornography (five to 20 years in prison per count) and one count of possessing child pornography (up to 10 years in prison). He has remained in custody since his arrest in January.

Sullivan is charged with one count each of attempted coercion of a minor (10 years to life in prison), receipt of child pornography (five to 20 years in prison) and advertising for child pornography (15 to 30 years in prison).

Perry is charged with one count of attempted coercion of a minor (10 years to life in prison).

Perkins is charged with one count of attempted coercion of a minor (10 years to life in prison), one count of advertising for child pornography (15 to 30 years in prison) and one count of receipt of child pornography (five to 20 years in prison).

Zevely is charged with attempted coercion of a minor (10 years to life in prison), one count of producing child pornography (15 to 30 years in prison), one counts of distributing child pornography (five to 20 years in prison) and one count of possessing child pornography (up to 10 years in prison).

Michalski is currently charged with receiving (five to 20 years in prison) and possessing child pornography (up to 10 years in prison).   

U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of this case by the FBI Crimes Against Children Task Force, and Assistant United States Attorneys Heather A. Hill and S. Courter Shimeall, who are prosecuting the case.

Indictments and criminal complaints merely contain allegations, and defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Contact: 
jennifer.thornton@usdoj.gov
Updated August 28, 2018