Crawfordsville Man Charged with 15 Counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
Alleged to have enticed 14 to 17 year old boys to send him sexually explicit images
Indianapolis – United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced today that a Crawfordsville, Indiana, man has been charged by an Information with 15 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. Drew W. Sutherlin, 27, is alleged to have enticed boys between the ages of 14 and 17 years old to send him sexually explicit images of themselves over the Internet.
“Sexual predators cannot be allowed to take advantage of those most vulnerable in our communities,” said Minkler. “Anyone who takes advantage of our youth will be held strictly accountable and will pay a price for their criminal actions.”
According to the Information, from January 2015 until May 2017, Sutherlin posed as a female on the Internet. While posing as a female, Sutherlin sent pornographic images of an actual woman to several boys asking for sexually explicit images of themselves.
Believing they were corresponding with an actual female, the 15 victims sent sexually explicit images of themselves by using the camera on their cell phones. They would then send the images over the Internet to Sutherlin for him to view.
This case was investigated by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and the Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
“The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department was proud to work with the our law enforcement partners to help uncover over 14,000 pages of text messages and 17,000 images, the majority of which were sexually explicit in this investigation,” said Montgomery County Sheriff Mark Casteel. “We would like to thank the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Cyber Unit, Indiana State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for their invaluable expertise and assistance in this investigation.”
“Today’s charges are an illustration of law enforcement’s commitment to protect our communities’ most vulnerable citizens, our children” said FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge W. Jay Abbott. “The FBI will continue to diligently work with our local, state, and federal partners to identify and prosecute child predators.”
“IMPD is proud to lend our detective expertise to assist our federal, state and local law enforcement partners chase down sexual predators,” said Chief Roach. “IMPD will continue to provide assistance to investigations involving children so that we protect them to the best of our abilities.”
Sutherlin has signed a plea agreement notifying the Court of his intention to plead guilty. No future court date has been set.
According to Senior Litigation Counsel Steven D. DeBrota, who is prosecuting this case for the government, Sutherlin faces up to 35 years imprisonment and a minimum of five years of supervised release if convicted.