Former Westfield High School volunteer wrestling coach arrested - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Former Westfield High School volunteer wrestling coach arrested for child porn

Updated:
INDIANAPOLIS -

A former volunteer wrestling coach at Westfield High School was formally charged Wednesday with child pornography crimes.

Christopher Rennard, 28, of Westfield, faces two counts of shipping or transporting by means of computer visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, as well as possessing and distributing child pornography.

"When the most vulnerable of our citizens are victimized, my office will aggressively do everything in its power to protect them," said U.S. Attorney Joseph H. Hogsett. "Child predators around the state are on notice; we will find you, investigate you and prosecute you with the full force of federal law."

According to the criminal complaint affidavit, a report was submitted to the Cyber Tip Line by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The report was submitted by Dropbox, Inc. and indicated that a user on their online data storage service had uploaded and stored files that contained child pornography between January 15-27. Investigators determined Rennard was the subscriber and traced the IP address to his residence in Westfield.

A federal search warrant was issued and served on Rennard's residence on April 17 by special agents of Homeland Security Investigations and task force officers of the Hamilton County Metropolitan Child Exploitation Task Force.

"A police RV and six or seven undercover running around and bulletproof vests at first, with their guns," said a neighbor.

"We couldn't even get out of our driveway," said another neighbor, Julie Carney.

Rennard was present during the search and admitted to collecting and distributing child pornography, according to a court affidavit.

Rennard allegedly made contact with other persons interested in child pornography using an iPhone application called Omegle. Once he found someone to trade with, Rennard would post links to child pornography images and videos which could be used to access the files stored in his and other individuals' Dropbox accounts. This would make files available for viewing, downloading and copying.

Dropbox employees caught the pornographic pictures and called police.

"Most responsible providers are seeing this is not only illegal but morally reprehensible," said Hogsett.

More and more, investigators and Internet companies are working together. Technology makes it easier to share porn, but maybe easier to get caught, too.

"Nothing on the Internet is done anonymously," Hogsett said.

"It's scary. To think my little grandkids are right here. I don't know what age he was targeting," Carney said.

Rennard was allegedly sharing photos of children age nine through early teens.

"It's always shocking when you hear things like that," said Westfield H.S. parent Lisa Akers.

Westfield parents are concerned, but there is no indication any Westfield students were involved in any way. Hogsett says out of the hundreds of photos he shared, none were of local children.

"That's a scary thing for him to have an opportunity to be around kids like that," said parent Andy Neustifter.

"When we see people working with our kids, we have to assume their doing the right thing and the people who manage those people are keeping their eyes open," Akers said.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney MaryAnn Mindrum, who is prosecuting the case for the government, Rennard could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000.00 fine if convicted.

"Through our Operation Community Watch initiative, we have joined with state and local partners to make clear that we will not tolerate child exploitation in Indiana," Hogsett said. "With innovation and vigilance, we are unmasking these online predators and holding them accountable for their criminal activity."

The superintendent of Westfield Washington schools told Eyewitness News Rennard was only brought on to coach for one year - the 2013-14 season. That season ended in February, so district officials do not consider him to still be with the district.


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