A 26-year-old North Vernon man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for sexual exploitation of a child.
Gage Campos also will serve 20 years of supervised release and was ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution to the minor victim, according to a news release from Acting U.S. Attorney John E. Childress with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Indiana.
According to court documents, Campos was arrested Sept. 2, 2020, after evidence of sexual exploitation of a minor child was recovered from his Google account and one of his cellphones.
The image creation dates ranged from July to October 2019. The offenses occurred when the minor victim was a toddler, and law enforcement learned Campos was in a position of trust with respect to the child.
In addition to sexually explicit images of the minor victim, forensic examiners also found evidence Campos had been collecting child sexual abuse material for at least four years.
Campos used Google to search for material and images related to the sexual abuse of children. In 2020, Google reported the suspected child abuse images that were contained in one of its user accounts, later identified as belonging to Campos, to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
The center turned this evidence over to the Indiana State Police and FBI. Working together with partners from the Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, officers identified Campos, recovered evidence from his residence, obtained a confession and ensured the safety of the minor victim.
“The citizens of the Southern District of Indiana rightfully expect swift and coordinated action by law enforcement and their partners to investigate and prosecute persons such as Mr. Campos,” Childress said. “His significant sentence of imprisonment sends a strong message to others who might consider imitating his reprehensible conduct.”
FBI Indianapolis Acting Special Agent in Charge Robert Middleton said those who prey on the most vulnerable of citizens and victimize them through such despicable criminal acts can expect to be held accountable.
“This sentence demonstrates the FBI’s commitment to investigating cases of child pornography with a sense of urgency as well as the collaboration with our law enforcement partners to ensure there is one less predator victimizing our children,” Middleton said.
The case was investigated by the FBI, Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and Martinsville Police Department.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristina Korobov prosecuted the case.
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 information, visit justice.gov/psc.