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Child Exploitation

2 Indiana men charged with producing, possessing child pornography

COLUMBUS, Ind. — Two Indiana men face charges of producing sexually explicit videos of local minors and possessing child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Joseph H. Hogsett, Southern District of Indiana, Wednesday. The victims were ages 4 and 16 when the alleged abuse took place.

These charges resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the U.S. Marshals Service, Carmel and Fishers police departments, and the Indiana State Police.

The prosecution of Brock Boston, 29, and Leslie Woods, 26, was made possible, in part, by Operation Community Watch, a new effort, which aims to reduce the abuse of Indiana children through innovative investigative techniques and aggressive prosecution.

"Nothing is more important than the safety of children, and cases such as this are a tragic reminder of the dangers that can lurk in our communities," Hogsett said. "That is why we have launched Operation Community Watch with our law enforcement partners, and we will continue our efforts to identify and prosecute anyone found to be engaging in such deplorable behavior."

Court documents allege that on Dec. 30, 2011, Boston and Woods coerced a local teenager to engage in sexually explicit conduct to produce videos of child pornography. These acts allegedly took place inside Boston's residence in Columbus. In addition, Boston is alleged to have sexually abused a 4-year-old child at his residence a month earlier, and produced child pornography videos of that abuse.

Both men also face charges of possessing both videos and still images of child pornography. File names allegedly found in their possession include descriptions of the sexual abuse of minor children, including toddlers. Woods also faces an additional count for failing to register as a sex offender; his criminal history includes a prior felony conviction for receiving and possessing child pornography in Illinois.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Gayle L. Helart, who is prosecuting the case for the government, both men face up to 30 years in federal prison for each count of producing child pornography, and up to 10 years for possessing child pornography. Woods faces an additional 10 years for failing to register as a sex offender. They both could also face significant fines, years of supervised release and lifetime registration as a sexual predator.

Members of the public are reminded that all information is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).

HSI is a founding member and the U.S. representative of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.