The following press release was issued on Monday, January 30, 2023 by the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Southern District of Indiana.
INDIANAPOLIS – Michael Ingram, 43, of Indianapolis, Indiana, was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to Sexual Exploitation of a Child, Conspiracy to Sexually Exploit Children, and Distribution and Receipt of Child Sexual Abuse Material. Cameron Helm, 36, of Indianapolis, Indiana, was also sentenced to 20 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to Conspiracy Sexually Exploit Children and Distribution and Receipt of Child Sexual Abuse Material.
According to court documents, in March 2020, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) began investigating Ingram after receiving a CyberTip from an email provider. Further investigation revealed that the owner of this email account sent child sex abuse material to Ingram’s email account. Investigators were able to tie the account to Ingram’s Indianapolis residence and obtained a warrant to search for evidence of crimes.
Members of the Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force executed the warrant and recovered Ingram’s iPhone and iPad. A forensic examination of these devices revealed that Ingram had produced, distributed, and possessed child sex abuse material.
In addition, over 1,600 text messages were located on the devices between Ingram and Helm, from February 7, 2018, to October 2020. In these texts, Ingram and Helm conspire to sexually exploit a child and graphically describe potential sex acts with children. At Helm’s direction, Ingram took photos of himself sexually assaulting a child. Ingram distributed that child sex abuse material to Helm, and Helm distributed other child sex abuse material to Ingram in return.
U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana Zachary A. Myers and IMPD Chief Randal Taylor made the announcement.
“These criminals gleefully reveled in the dark sewer of child exploitation,” said U.S. Attorney Myers. “They placed their own sexual gratification above the autonomy, dignity, and safety of a vulnerable child. The serious sentences imposed here demonstrate that these horrific abuses are unacceptable in civilized society. Indiana’s renowned Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, including our office and IMPD, will continue to work relentlessly to keep children safe and hold abusers accountable.”
ICAC and IMPD investigated the case. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge, Sarah Evans Barker. Judge Barker also ordered that Ingram be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for life and Helm be supervised for 15 years following their release from federal prison. Ingram and Helm must also register as sex offenders wherever they live, work, or go to school, as required by law. Additionally, Helm must pay $10,000 in restitution to the child victims and has been fined $10,000 pursuant the Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act of 2018.
U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant United States Attorney Kyle M. Sawa who prosecuted the case.
This investigation was conducted by the Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, a partnership of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies led by the Indiana State Police. The Task Force is dedicated to investigating and prosecuting crimes involving the technology-facilitated sexual exploitation of children and the trafficking of child sexual abuse material. Each year, Indiana ICAC investigators evaluate thousands of tips, investigate hundreds of cases, and rescue dozens of children from ongoing sexual abuse.
In fiscal year 2019, the most recent year for which data is available, the Southern District of Indiana was second out of the 94 federal districts in the country for the number of child sexual exploitation cases prosecuted.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit https://www.justice.gov/psc.