News From Terre Haute, Indiana

July 30, 2013

Three teens face charges in child exploitation case

Lisa Trigg
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Criminal charges of sexual battery, child exploitation, sexual deviate conduct and child pornography have been filed against three Terre Haute teenagers who allegedly assaulted a minor female at a local hotel on June 30.

Arrest warrants on the felony charges were issued Tuesday afternoon for Peter Joseph Tanoos II and Tucker Lee Ray, both 18, and Christopher Ivan Lucio Hayden, 19.

Tanoos has been arrested on charges of child exploitation and sexual battery.

Ray has been arrested on charges of sexual deviate conduct, child exploitation and sexual battery.

Tanoos and Ray both submitted themselves to police at the Vigo County Jail on Tuesday afternoon. Each has bail set at $50,000, cash only. Both are scheduled to appear in Vigo Superior Court 5 at 11 a.m. today.

Hayden, who was still being sought by police Tuesday night, faces charges of child exploitation and possession of child pornography. His case will also be heard in Division 5 court.

Indiana State Police report that on July 2, a minor younger than age 16 but older than 12 reported an incident to family members, who contacted police and then took the minor to a Terre Haute hospital for treatment.

Detective First Sgt. Jeff Hearon and Trooper Mike Finney reported that the victim said she became intoxicated and incapacitated at a private party near downtown Terre Haute. Friends and acquaintances then helped her to leave the party and took her to a hotel on the city’s south side, according to police.

As the minor lay unconscious in the room, she was allegedly sexually assaulted by Tanoos and Ray. Pornographic images of the assault were allegedly recorded by Hayden, and were then allegedly published multiple times around the community, police said.

Special prosecutor Lee Reberger of Clay County has been appointed to handle the case. Because of a family connection to Ray, Vigo County Prosecutor Terry Modesitt has recused himself from the case.

Indiana State Police ask that anyone who knows Hayden’s whereabouts to contact the Putnamville ISP Post at 765-653-4114.

Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or lisa.trigg@tribstar.com. Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.