Information is just being released today concerning 9 arrests that have been made in Ohio related to the trafficking and sexual abuse of children.
An hour ago, investigators held a press conference discussing some of the details in the case which were not included in the statement released by the Department of Justice as a part of Project Safe Childhood.
When questioned about why it would take something of this magnitude so long to come to light, U.S. Attorney David M. DeVillers responded by enumerating that the affidavit made it clear that within the case "there is a great deal of threats and coercion, there was terror to this. There were firearms used. There are incidents where cigarettes were used to torture people. This was a situation where an individual not only controlled these poor young children, but adults as well, through threats of violence and intimidation."
The investigation began in 2013.
Larry Dean Porter, 69, of Wheelersburg, Ohio was arrested in March of this year when he arrived at a predetermined location presumably to purchase time with a 7-year-old girl. He was found to have $80 in his possession and recorded at the time saying that he would “be done around midnight” and return the child then. At that time, he faced only local charges.
While in custody, Porter is alleged to have written several letters to others in an effort to either hide evidence, or coerce witnesses to change their testimony and lie to law enforcement.
Investigators returned to his residence after reports that his daughters, Denna Sue, 32, of Wheelersburg, Ohio, and Crystal D. Porter, 39, of Columbus, were seen digging on the property at various times. When investigators examined where they had been reportedly digging, they reportedly found SD memory cards buried inside of glass jars.
According to Fox19, the informant on the case reported to officials that they knew of people suspected to have been abused by Porter growing up, then taking their own children to Porter to be abused.
Investigators are certain there are more victims out there and many took time during the press conference to implore them to come forward and speak out. They are asking people to call the FBI at (614) 315-4923.
According to the DOJ release, there are other adults related to the case that are not named in the statement, but that have been arrested and charged locally.
Initially all records related to the case were sealed by request of the FBI so as to not compromise other concurrent investigations.
“Additionally, a simultaneous investigation by local and state officials into other sex trafficking allegations in the Portsmouth, Ohio area, has brought public and media attention to both investigations. Thus, public disclosure of the documents in these cases would compromise the ongoing investigation, if the existence of the investigation, and particularly information about additional suspects and targets became known to the targets and any potential co-conspirators or other associated persons.”
Charity Ann Rawlins, 41, of South Webster, Ohio, and Ronnie L. Rawlins, 47, of Oak Hill, Ohio have both been accused of taking a young girl to Porter several times a week for up to 5 years for him to sexually abuse in exchange for pills. They both face charges of conspiring to sex traffic children and sex trafficking children.
Joshua David Aldridge, 36, of South Webster, Ohio, faces the same two charges due to allegations that he also transported minor victims to Porter in exchange for narcotics.
Erroll Wayne Porter, Sr., 69, of Wheelersburg, Ohio, Porter's cousin that goes by the name Wayne, was recorded during a jail call. Porter and Wayne were discussing the individual they believed was the informant when Wayne said he “got some things working there, trying to take him down.” In later call, Porter was recorded telling Wayne to “Go out and make sure that idiot don’t do something. If you have to put a slug in that son-of-a-bitch.” Wayne has been charged with conspiring to obstruct a child sex trafficking investigation, and conspiring to tamper witnesses.
David Cole, 62, of Portsmouth, Ohio was seen in Facebook messages talking with Porter about some of the victims. Cole is reported to have removed and destroyed some evidence from Porter's home. He has been charged with conspiring to sex traffic children, conspiring to obstruct a child sex trafficking investigation, and destroying or removing evidence.
Frank Andrews, 68, of Wheelersburg, Ohio, was found in possession of several DVDs containing videos of child pornography. Forensics matched those videos with some that were found on Porter's computer. Andrews has been charged with conspiring to sex traffic children, possessing child pornography involving a prepubescent child, conspiring to obstruct a child sex trafficking investigation, and destroying or removing evidence.
Denna Sue, and Crystal D. Porter, have both been charged with obstruct a child sex trafficking investigation, destroying or removing evidence, and making false statements to law enforcement.
Porter is currently facing 13 charges which include conspiring to sex traffic children, attempting to sex traffic children, producing child pornography, possessing child pornography, conspiring to obstruct a child sex trafficking investigation and conspiring to witness tamper.