Volunteer Westfield wrestling coach charged in child porn case

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INDIANAPOLIS (April 30, 2014) – A volunteer wrestling coach kept child pornography and shared it with others, federal prosecutors say.

U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsetts announced charges Wednesday against Christopher Rennard, 28, Westfield. Rennard, a volunteer wrestling coach at Westfield High School, faces charges including possession of child pornography, distribution of child pornography and shipping or transporting by means of computer visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

A report from Dropbox—a cloud file sharing service—alerted investigators to the case via a tip to the Cyber Tip Line by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. According to the Dropbox report, someone had uploaded and stored files containing child pornography between Jan. 15 and Jan. 27, 2014. Investigators traced the account and IP address to Rennard.

On April 17, special agents from Homeland Security Investigations and task force officers from the Hamilton County Metropolitan Child Exploitation Task Force served a search warrant at Rennard’s residence. According to the affidavit, Rennard was home at the time and admitted to collecting and distributing child pornography.

Investigators said Rennard contacted other child pornographers using an iPhone app called Omegle. They would exchange links, images and videos stored in Dropbox accounts so they could be downloaded and copied.

Prosecutors said Rennard could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The case came as part of Project Safe Childhood and Hogsett’s “Operation Community Watch.”

Westfield Schools issued the following statement to FOX59:

“On Friday, April 18, 2014, administrators at Westfield High School were notified by individuals from the US Department of Homeland Security and the Hamilton County Child Exploitation Task Force of pending criminal charges regarding Mr. Chris Rennard.  Mr. Rennard served as a volunteer wrestling coach for Westfield High School for only the 2013 season.

Westfield Washington Schools have high expectations for ethical behavior in our district among all individuals working with our students.  We will do everything in our power to uphold those standards.  The school system will continue to cooperate fully with law enforcement authorities during their investigation.  In the initial investigation, the law enforcement authorities were clear that there is currently no indication of victimization of any Westfield High School students.  If anyone has any additional information regarding this situation, please contact Special Agent Michael Johnson with the US Department of Homeland Security at 317-248-4151 or Detective John Pirics with the Hamilton County Child Exploitation Task Force at 317-595-3361.

Westfield Washington Schools will continue to do everything possible to ensure that the district is safe and nurturing for all children at all times.”