The following press release was issued on Wednesday by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio:
A Richland County man was indicted in federal court for sexual exploitation of a child.
Joseph R. Hurley, 31, of Lucas, was initially arrested on charges of sexually abusing an 11-year-old. During a subsequent review of Hurley’s computer, law enforcement discovered approximately 261 images and 102 videos containing child pornography.
The forensic review also revealed a folder that contained images of a nude female later determined to be 16 years old when the images were taken. The female was completely nude and her eyes were closed, according to the affidavit.
Investigators made contact with the girl in the images. She stated that she had a one-month relationship with Hurley in 2013, when he was 26 and she was 16. The last time they had contact, the girl said Hurley mixed her an alcoholic drink, although she did not see him prepare it. She said the drink made her “feel sleepy” and that she did not remember the rest of the night. She said she woke up in the morning without any clothes and felt sore, according to the affidavit.
The girl stated she had no knowledge of Hurley taking the photos of her, according to the affidavit.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Mansfield Police Department and the Richland County Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael A. Sullivan.
If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violations. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and, in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.
An indictment is a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.