INDIANAPOLIS - A local man who allegedly sexually exploited four young girls to produce child pornography over the past four years was charged in federal court Tuesday. The charges resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Andrew Jay McGrath, 30, of Carmel, Ind., was charged Nov. 17 with 24 counts of sexually exploiting children by producing child pornography; of obtaining custody and control of a minor to produce sexually explicit images; and of possessing child pornography.
The indictment alleges that McGrath produced visual depictions of four minor females - each younger than 12 years of age - engaged in sexually explicit conduct. McGrath allegedly produced the child pornography images during the last four years.
The indictment also charges that on one occasion McGrath sought custody and control of a minor female by use of a computer, knowing that he would produce pornographic images of her engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
McGrath faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison on each count of producing child pornography; a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for obtaining custody and control of a minor; and a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for possessing child pornography. McGrath also faces a possible fine of $250,000 on each count. McGrath was initially charged in a criminal complaint Sept. 15. He remains in custody pending the disposition of this case.
ICE was assisted in the investigation by the Carmel Police Department and the Hamilton County Metro Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorney A. Brant Cook, Southern District of Indiana, is prosecuting the case.
This case is being investigated as part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who prey on children, including human traffickers, international sex tourists, Internet pornographers, and foreign national predators whose crimes make them deportable. Launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 11,600 individuals under Operation Predator.
ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.