INDIANAPOLIS — A former corrections employee for the Marion County Sheriff’s Office faces charges after a federal child sex exploitation investigation.
A probable cause affidavit filed in the case against Cory Terry says the investigation began after the Clinton Township, Michigan, Police Department asked for help investigating sexually explicit messages between a man and an 11-year-old girl.
In the messages, the probable cause affidavit indicates Terry coerced and induced the girl to send sexually explicit material. The document provided a chat thread between an account they linked to Terry and the 11-year-old girl.
In the chat thread, the document states Terry confirmed the girl was 11 before messaging her “can I ask you some inappropriate questions.”
The messages in the thread documented in the probable cause affidavit are sexual in nature, with the account linked to Terry asking the girl to perform sexual acts and video call him so he could get sexual gratification. After one instance, the account police linked to Terry told the girl “I know it’s your first time, but it will become normal eventually.”
At one point in the message thread, the document details the girl was worried her parents would find out. As time went on, the document details the messages sent by Terry’s account got more aggressive in nature.
The document also details that Terry’s account sent pornographic images to the girl’s account detailing older men engaging in sexual acts with young females.
Police were able to get the girl’s phone and the document details they found a video showing the girl naked. She told an FBI forensic interviewer that she engaged in chats, video calls and voice calls with Terry’s account through Discord.
The Clinton Township Police Department served a search warrant on the account speaking with the girl’s account. The account was linked to Terry’s address and email.
When Indianapolis FBI agents served a search warrant on Terry’s address, the document details Terry admitted to having a Discord account with the username listed in the court document, but denied any contact with an 11-year-old.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that Terry was a corrections employee. They terminated his employment the same day that the FBI arrested him. He was an employee for just over two years.
Terry faces charges of sexual exploitation of children, receipt of child pornography, and coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in illicit sexual activity.
“You know it’s game of global whack-a-mole when it comes to child predators and cyber criminals at large,” said I-U professor and cyber security risk management expert Scott Shackleford.
Cyber experts like Shackleford say the case should again remind parents to always monitor who their children are communicating with online.
“All of us parents, this is front of mind as our kids test the waters online. An increasingly important part of our kids’ lives are being spent online, so we have to equip them with the tools they need to thrive in that space,” said Shackleford.
October is cyber security awareness month.
Shackleford says there are websites like https://www.internetmatters.org/ that can provide useful tools to parents and even provide step-by-step guides to set parental controls.
Reporter Jesse Wells contributed to this report.