Chesterton Tribune


Manager at local restaurant pleads guilty to federal child porn charges

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A Portage man who had been managing a Chesterton fast food restaurant has pleaded guilty in federal court to child pornography charges, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana said.

Michael A. Hostetler pleaded guilty last week to receipt of child pornography and possession of child pornography, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. No further details about the terms of the plea were released.

Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 21.

According to the original complaint, on March 21 a Michigan City Police detective launched a publicly available peer-to-peer file-sharing program and subsequently found an IP address “which appeared to be sharing files that depicted minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.” The MCPD detective downloaded four files and confirmed that at least three of them contained child-pornographic images, the complaint states.

On May 18, a subpoena was served on Comcast for information on the subscriber using that IP address and a billing address for Hostetler was obtained, the complaint states.

Then, on May 24, a search warrant was executed at that address and three laptops, two Apple iPhones, and numerous DVDs were seized. An on-scene preliminary investigation determined that several videos depicting minors in sexually explicit conduct were found on a laptop in the bedroom, the complaint states.

Hostetler was not himself at home at the time but working as general manager of an unspecified fast-food restaurant in Chesterton. He was located, agreed voluntarily to speak with investigators, and admitted to downloading and viewing child pornography, the complaint states.

Hostetler was unsure when or why he first began viewing child pornography, saying it may have been within the last eight months,” the complaint states. “Hostetler believes he has a demon inside him which makes him download child pornography.”

Hostetler also admitted having sex with one of his employees, a 16-year-old girl, following a party where alcohol was served, although at the time he believed that she was 18, the complaint states.

Hostetler was released after his arrest on posting a $20,000 bond, court documents indicate.



Posted 12/17/2012