News From Terre Haute, Indiana

February 7, 2013

19-year-old man faces child exploitation charges

Staff Report
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — A Terre Haute teen has been arrested on suspicion of child exploitation after he allegedly convinced a minor to electronically transmit nude photos of herself to him.

Tyler Wilkinson, 19, faces other possible charges as the investigation continues.

Detective Todd Kennedy of the Terre Haute Police Department testified Wednesday in Vigo Superior Court 6 that Wilkinson was arrested after police interviewed the 14-year-old victim in the case.

The child stated that she met Wilkinson on a website about a year ago and that she had listed a bogus age at the time.  She said she told Wilkinson that she was age 14, however.

 She said Wilkinson recently began asking for sexual favors via text messages, and she sent him nude photos of herself. He sent nude photos of himself in return.

The teen told police that Wilkinson allegedly threatened to circulate the nude photos of the girl unless she agreed to meet him.

 On Jan. 28, the teen said, she snuck out of her home to meet Wilkinson and he pressured her to have sex with him.

Kennedy said that when questioned about the incident, Wilkinson said he thought the girl was age 16, and he denied threatening to circulate the nude photographs.

Judge Michael Lewis found probable cause for Wilkinson’s arrest for child exploitation, a class-C felony. Bail was set at $50,000 with no 10 percent allowed.

Willkinson will return to court Monday afternoon for filing of formal charges.