Pendleton, IN

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Pendleton is a town in Fall Creek Township, Indiana. It is located in Madison County and its population is roughly 4,700. Prostitution activity has been documented in the town, and cases of local sex trafficking involving child sexual abuse materials (CSAM, often referred to in state laws as “child pornography) have occurred. Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response. Demand reduction tactics used in the town include the arrest of sex buyers and the public disclosure of their identities.  In April, 2021, a Pendleton man was sentenced in federal court to 30 years for sexual abuse crimes involving a child.  The 51 year old man was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for sexual exploitation of a child, coercion and enticement of a child and possession of CSAM. The offender must pay $10,000 in restitution and serve the remainder of his life on supervised release after he serves his sentence.  The man had portrayed himself as a wealthy foreigner on a dating website where he met a minor. He then used social media and other websites to determine the girl was under the age of 18 and her father had recently died. He promised to give her millions of dollars if she self-produced CSAM at the man’s direction, and then groomed and psychologically extorted the girl in order to create and send violent CSAM over the internet and to allow the man to sexually abuse her. The man’s wife had notified authorities of her husband’s actions after she located several naked photographs of other women on her husband’s server.

Key Partners

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Indiana Department of Corrections
  • United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Indiana

Key Sources

Arrest of Sex Buyer, Identity Disclosure:

State Indiana
Type City
Population 4717
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