A Gary woman accepted money from a man she met through a dating service so he could use her young daughter in pornographic photos, according to court documents, and the mother appears in one image in which her child is nude.
The 24-year-old woman is charged with selling her child for the production of child pornography and permitting the child to participate in its production. The Associated Press isn’t naming her to protect the child’s identity.
Christopher Bour, 39, of Gary is charged with purchasing a child for production of child pornography, producing child pornography and possessing child pornography featuring a minor under age 12.
The indictment handed down Wednesday alleges the acts occurred between August 2011, which is when the girl was born, and Feb. 14. A probable cause affidavit says the child appears to be between 6 months old and 18 months old in the photos. The two were ordered held without bond and are scheduled to be arraigned in federal court Monday.
State Department of Child Services spokeswoman Stephanie McFarland said because of confidentiality laws she could not say if the toddler was in state custody but said the agency was involved.
Bour’s attorney, Ashwin Cattamanchi, declined to comment when contacted by The Associated Press on Thursday. A message seeking comment also was left Thursday for Visvaldis Kupsis, the mother’s attorney.
According to an affidavit accompanying the criminal complaint against the woman, a Michigan City police detective found numerous pornographic video and photo files on a laptop found in Bour’s home, including photos of the young girl.
The affidavit says the girl is repeatedly shown on a brown-and-cream-colored bedspread and Bour is performing sexual acts. It also specifically lists five photos involving sexual acts, including one where his face is clearly visible and two where an adult woman’s hands are on the girl’s shoulders. The mother’s face is visible in a sixth photo showing her holding the girl’s shoulders, the affidavit states.
Bour told his attorney the photos were taken at the mother’s apartment, according to court documents. But FBI agent Matthew Chicantek said in documents that a large volume of the photos appear to have been taken at the same location, leading law enforcement officials to believe they were taken at Bour’s residence.
The affidavit said the FBI began investigating Bour on Feb. 13 after a masseuse alerted agents that a client had asked her to videotape him performing sex acts on a toddler.
According to the affidavit, Chicantek posed as the masseuse and texted Bour. Bour also graphically described via text messages the sex acts he wanted to perform on the child and asked the masseuse he thought he was communicating with if she wanted to take part, the affidavit states.
When asked if he trusted the toddler’s mother, Bour responded that he’d done it several times starting when the child was 4 months old and that the mother would not be present, the affidavit said.
Bour told investigators that the text exchange was fantasy and that he had never had sexual contact with minors.