A Cincinnati, Ohio, woman and a Franklin, Ohio, man have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges related to selling and creating child pornography, according to the United States Attorney’s Office in Cincinnati.
Ciera Richter, 25, of Cincinnati, and Jason Fletcher, 40, of Franklin, were federally indicted Wednesday.
Fletcher was previously convicted by the state of Ohio of importuning a minor, among other crimes. Under the terms of his probation, he was not to possess pornography of any kind, according to Jennifer Thornton, Department of Justice spokeswoman.
In May 2017, during a visit with his probation officer, the officer noticed Fletcher had two mobile devices and, after having Fletcher provide access to the devices, started to review the content on both phones.
The probation officer found pornography of a minor female on one of the phones and Fletcher was subsequently arrested, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
A search of the phone revealed not only a collection of child pornography, but also child pornography videos made with the phone. Some of the videos on the phone involved Fletcher, Richter and a 2-year-old.
In the videos, Richter helped hold, entertain and position the toddler, while Fletcher recorded himself sexually abusing the child, according to court records.
Richter procured the 2-year-old for the purpose of making the videos and intended to sell the videos, according to the indictment and other court documents.
"Richter provided the toddler to Fletcher with the knowledge that as a consequence of the transfer, the 2-year-old would be portrayed in child pornography," said Benjamin C. Glassman, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, in a statement. "Offenses like those alleged here are among the most heinous, and most important, that we prosecute. We take seriously our duty and responsibility to keep children safe from those who would prey upon them."
Richter and Fletcher are each charged with one count of conspiracy to produce child pornography and production of child pornography. Those crimes carry a potential sentence of 15 to 30 years in prison.
Fletcher faces a potential range of 35 years to life in prison, because he has at least two prior state convictions for crimes involving children.
Richter is also charged with one count of selling a child, which is punishable by 30 years to life in prison.