Two cousins from the Cincinnati area are now facing federal indictments for allegedly producing child pornography.
Ciera Richter, 25, and Jason Fletcher, 40, are charged with crimes related to engaging in sexually explicit behavior with a 2-year-old girl.
“I would say that offenses like the ones that are alleged in this indictment are among the most heinous and most important crimes that we prosecute,” said U.S. Attorney Benjamin Glassman.
The alleged crimes happened between February and May of this year. The case exploded when a probation officer found pornography on a cellphone belonging to Fletcher.
“We take extremely seriously our obligation to protect the most vulnerable among us and when you have allegations of child exploitation of child pornography using a toddler that’s about as serious as you can get,” Glassman said.
The Freedom Center tracks statistics on human trafficking. Lara Green, manager of the modern-day slavery initiative said the most recent estimate indicates there are 4.8 million people in forced sexual exploitation around the world.
“If you think about child pornography, if the intent is to sell or if there is an exchange of things of value, yes to me it falls under child sex trafficking,” Green said.
Fletcher has prior convictions for crimes involving children. Each suspect could face up to a life sentence in prison.