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Child Exploitation
01/08/2020

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Central Indiana man sentenced to 200 years in prison for sexually exploiting minors, possessing child pornography

INDIANAPOLIS — A 54-year-old Central Indiana man was sentenced Wednesday to 200 years in federal prison for persistently sexually exploiting a child and possessing child pornography.

This investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Jeffrey Esposito, of Shelbyville, Indiana, who was charged by indictment with twenty counts of sexual exploitation of a child and one count of possession of child pornography on April 11, 2018, received the sentence in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

“Let this sentence serve as a reminder that HSI is committed to standing firmly in the way of those who prey on and exploit our most vulnerable population – our children,” said Special Agent in Charge James M. Gibbons. “HSI, in cooperation with our law enforcement and judicial partners, will work tirelessly to identify and bring to justice individuals who commit these heinous crimes.”

The first twenty charges relate to the recording of his repeated sexual abuse of his minor victim.

The defendant’s sexual abuse of the victim started when the victim was approximately 7-8 years old and continued for years, including bondage and torture sessions with choking, whipping, and other forms of pain.

The twenty counts represent twenty images or videos of abuse and exploitation over multiple occasions out of the hundreds of sexual abuse files that the defendant created using this minor victim.

The defendant was a member of various websites devoted to the sexual exploitation of children on an anonymous network, and he participated on various anonymous chatting platforms where he met other offenders, shared his produced material, and specifically requested and received child pornography from those users in exchange.

The final charge represents the thousands of other depictions of sexual abuse that Esposito maintained on his various devices, which included images and videos depicting bondage and torture, images and videos depicting children as young as 3 years old, and images and videos of minor victims who were abused by other offenders specifically for Esposito’s benefit.

“Esposito tortured, sexually abused, and sexually exploited children for years,” said U.S. Attorney Josh J. Minkler, Southern District of Indiana. “[This] sentence ensures that he will never come in contact with another child again.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven D. DeBrota and Department of Justice, Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section Trial Attorney Lauren S. Kupersmith prosecuted the case for the government. According to DeBrota and Kupersmith, if Esposito ever were to be released, he would be on supervised release for the remainder of his life.

This investigation was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 25,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child exploitation material, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2019, more than 3,500 child predators were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 1,000 victims identified or rescued.

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.

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.

For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI’s Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page. HSI is a founding member 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.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 01/09/2020