An Indianapolis man with close ties to Greensburg is currently under electronic home detention after being indicted Wednesday morning by an Federal Grand Jury for possessing child pornography.
According to the indictment, Randall Bruce Allen, 46, “possessed a one (1) terabyte hard drive that contained visual depictions of minors under the age of 18 years engaging in sexually explicit conduct.”
Joe Hogsett, United States attorney for Indiana’s Southern District, told the Daily News a warrant was served on Allen Nov. 27.
“Hundreds of files were found on Mr. Allen’s hard drive,” Hogsett said. “We found videos, pictures and file names that identified kids as young as four-years-old.”
If convicted on the single charge, Allen faces a maximum of ten years imprisonment and $250,000 in fines.
Hogsett declined to reveal how Allen fell under suspicion, but did stress that the investigation is ongoing.
“I can’t disclose information about our investigative techniques,” the US attorney said. “Making such information public could tip off potential offenders as to how we catch them, making it more difficult to find and prosecute these people.”
He continued, “Our investigation is continuing. We are still scouring Mr. Allen’s computers.”
According to Tim Horty, public information officer for the US Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Indiana, per the terms of Allen’s electronic detention, he’s forbidden from using “a web-enabled cell-phone or any other web-enabled device without approval of the court.”
“Mr. Allen was arrested via complaint Dec. 13 at his place of business,” Horty explained. “He was released on his own recognizance.”
Also per his terms of release, Allen is barred from “drinking alcohol to excess.” He’s allowed to return to work, according to Horty, and to attend church and to participate in church activities; otherwise, he’s “under house arrest.”
According to his profile at Linked in (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/bruce-allen/47/158/5ab), Allen is currently employed as a Loan Review Manager for MainSource Financial Group; he’s been with the bank since 2004.
MainSource CEO Daryl Tressler declined comment on Allen’s case, and instead referred the Daily News to the company’s Human Resources Department.
MainSource Director of Human Resources Jennifer Bullard, however, also declined comment. On advice of legal counsel, she stated, neither she nor anyone from MainSource can offer any information regarding Allen’s case or his employment.
A call to Allen’s MainSource office Thursday afternoon was transferred to voicemail.
Allen’s first court appearance has yet to be set, but Horty said a date will likely be scheduled within the next few days.
Hogsett stressed that, to date, there’s no evidence suggesting Allen himself is a predator or that he transmitted child pornography via any means.
“The indictment speaks for itself,” Hogsett said. “Mr. Allen is charged with possession only. Had there been any other evidence to suggest other activity, he would’ve been so charged. Distribution is a separate charge, but it carries the same 10-year/$250,000 maximum penalties. Had the evidence suggested he violated the law in any other way, additional charges would’ve been filed.”
“That said,” he added, “this indictment could still be superseded and additional charges added based on any additional evidence gleaned through the ongoing investigation.”
Additionally, the current investigation has also not uncovered any evidence suggesting Allen was part of a larger child pornography ring.
What the current case against Allen does suggest, however, Hogsett added, is that “there was a whole different side to Mr. Allen than that seen in Greensburg.”
Hogsett also mentioned Allen’s community service, saying that he was “doing good things in the community.”
Indeed, in a September 2011 Daily News article regarding a Habitat for Humanity home demolition project in Batesville, Allen was part of a nine-person MainSource crew helping tear down the donated home.
“People engaged in this kind of activity on the internet believe they’re anonymous and untraceable,” Hogsett said. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”
The US district attorney also expressed dismay that some people might not take this type of crime as seriously as it should be treated.
“I’ve heard people suggest that [consuming child pornography via the internet] is a victimless crime,” he added. “Why spend our money, time and resources prosecuting people who are engaged in an activity in the privacy of their own home? They aren’t out dealing drugs or raping, robbing, killing or molesting. Why bother? Who are they really hurting?”
“But this is not a victimless crime,” he stressed. “The victims are these innocent children. And each time someone else downloads and views these images or videos, these kids are re-victimized.”
Those victims, according to Hogsett, are extremely difficult to find. Not only do these images come from all over the world, but they’re also “often shot in a way so as to hide or obscure the victim’s face, making them difficult to identify.”
Moreover, the US attorney added, consuming child pornography, while obviously not as serious a crime as producing it or engaging in predatory behavior, is only one step removed from those more severe crimes.
“One of the big problems with this crime,” Hogsett said, “is that the currency used to pay for this material isn’t money; it’s usually other pictures.”
In example, Hogsett cited the case of David Bostic, a Bloomington man who was sentenced to 315 years imprisonment last year for his role in an international child pornography ring. That ring was uncovered, dismantled and prosecuted through an investigation known as “Operation Bulldog.”
“Mr. Bostic started as a consumer of child pornography,” Hogsett explained. “His activities escalated when others in his network providing him with material demanded he provide child pornography of his own. As a result, five children in and around Bloomington — all under the age of four — were victimized by Mr. Bostic.”
“So we’re always fearful of the child pornography consumer becoming a producer,” he continued. “Our job is to protect the children of Indiana as vigorously as possible and prevent them from becoming victimized by those kinds of predators.”
Contact: Rob Cox at 812-663-3111 x7011.