News From Terre Haute, Indiana

August 1, 2013

Wanted teen turns himself in for alleged child exploitation

Police say victim drugged by laced ‘gummy bear’

Lisa Trigg
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — A third young male has been arrested in a sexual assault case involving three Terre Haute teens connected to a June 30 incident in which an allegedly intoxicated and unconscious minor female was sexually assaulted at a local hotel.

Christopher Ivan Lucio Hayden, 19, surrendered himself to Indiana State Police at its post in Putnamville. He had been wanted on a Vigo County warrant for child exploitation and possession of child pornography.

ISP Sgt. Joe Watts reported that Hayden had been out of town when he learned of the warrant. He was booked into the Vigo County Jail on Wednesday afternoon, with bond set at $50,000 cash only. He was scheduled to appear in Vigo Superior Court 5 at 11 a.m. today.

Two other suspects in the same case turned themselves in to police on Tuesday afternoon. They appeared via video in Vigo Superior Court 5 on Wednesday morning, where Special Prosecutor Lee Reberger objected to any reduction in their bonds, set at $50,000.

Peter Joseph Tanoos II, 18, was assigned a Dec. 16 trial date on charges of child exploitation, a class-C felony, and sexual battery, a class-D felony.

Attorney William Smock represented Tanoos in the hearing.

Tucker Lee Ray, 18, has a Jan. 13 trial date on charges of sexual misconduct with a minor, and child exploitation, both class-C felonies, and sexual battery, a class-D felony. Attorney Joseph Etling represented Ray in the hearing.

Both Tanoos and Ray were given Oct. 22 pretrial hearing dates.

With no objection from the prosecutor during their hearings, Judge Michael Rader agreed in court Wednesday to accept property bonds if posted by either defendant.

Ray’s grandfather, Robert M. Cahill, presented a property appraisal for consideration of a property bond, and told the judge that if his grandson was released from jail, the teen would be expected to reside at his grandparents’ Terre Haute home. Rader accepted the property bond, but with the restriction that Ray be placed on pretrial in-home detention with GPS monitoring.

“I want to know exactly where he is at all times,” Rader said of Ray. He was also ordered to have no contact with the alleged victim or her family. Rader said that Ray could attend school in the fall, but he must comply with supervision of the court and Vigo County Community Corrections.

Smock also requested a bond reduction, noting that Tanoos is a lifelong resident of the community and has many family ties to Terre Haute, in addition to no criminal history. The attorney also noted that Tanoos knew about the investigation for several days and could have fled the area, but he made himself available for police interviews and turned himself in.

Rader denied Smock’s bond reduction request but did agree to the property bond, if acceptable.

According to probable cause affidavits submitted to the court by ISP First Sgt. Jeff Hearon, the three teenage defendants attended an under-age drinking party at an apartment in the 500 block of South Fifth Street on June 30. They were accompanied by a 17-year-old female, and her friend — the alleged victim, who is a minor younger than age 16 but older than 12.

According to statements given to investigators, the alleged victim was given a “gummy bear” candy that had been laced with a drug. The girl became incapacitated and was carried to a car, which transported her and her older friend, as well as Hayden, Tanoos and Ray, to a local hotel where Ray rented a hotel room to spend the night. The older friend told police that the alleged victim vomited during the car ride, so she helped her friend into a hotel room shower to remove the vomit from her clothing. The alleged victim was then assisted into bed, and the other teenage girl went to sleep in an adjacent bed. The court document states that Hayden told police he awoke during the night to see both Ray and Tanoos fondling the alleged victim, and he took a photo of them.

That photo was later forwarded to a 19-year-old friend, who contacted the alleged victim about the incident and urged her to call police. The victim reportedly told her family about the incident and was taken to a local hospital on July 2 for medical treatment and documentation of injuries.

Hearon reported that police were able to recover copies of the photograph reportedly taken by Hayden from a cell phone. Police also said the photograph had been distributed via Hayden’s email account.

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