U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman announced today that a four-count indictment was unsealed in the Northern District of Ohio charging six men with conspiracy to engage in sexual exploitation of children, sexual exploitation of children, conspiracy to receive visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct and conspiracy to access with intent to view child pornography.
Named in the indictment are
- David Pece, age 30, of Highland Heights, Ohio
- Myron Brown, age 59, of Columbia, South Carolina
- Mark Delacruz, age 31, of Temple City, California
- Steven Foster, age 45, of Portsmouth, Ohio
- Richard Avery, age 52, of Safford, Arizona
- Ethan Shives, age 30, of Big Pool, Maryland
According to the exploitation indictment, from November 2015 through March 2016, the defendants worked together in a group, and with others, to convince minor children to engage in sexually explicit conduct online. Allegedly, this conduct was often preformed via webcam so that the defendants could record and view the material.
The indictment states that the defendants conspired together online with the intent to lure the children into one or more chatroom-based websites. Once the minors visited these chatroom-based websites, the defendants and others would entice the victims to engage in sexually explicit acts, which they would then record.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by agents with the Detroit Division of the FBI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael A. Sullivan and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn Gaughan Andrachik.
Ohio sexual exploitation of children