(BLOOMFIELD) - Since early August, an investigator with the Greene County Prosecutor's Office and local, state and federal officers in two states have been on the tail of a 46-year-old Bloomfield man wanted in a disturbing case of alleged child molestation.
Anna Rochelle of the Greene County Daily World reports that Johnny F. McCarter was apprehended Wednesday afternoon in Newark, Ohio by Indiana State Police Trooper Brian Harshman, who is assigned to the U.S. Marshals Task Force.
McCarter was booked into the Licking County Jail in Ohio, and taken into custody on the Indiana warrant issued out of Greene Circuit Court by Judge Erik Allen on August. 6.
When McCarter is returned to Greene County, he will be charged with four counts of child molestation, all as class A felonies.
Since December of 2012, this case has been the subject of an ongoing investigation by Greene County Prosecutor's Investigator Julie Criger in cooperation with family case managers from Greene County's Department of Child Services (DCS), both assisted by several detectives and deputies from the Greene County Sheriff's Department.
When the bench warrant was issued on Aug. 6, Greene County officers were out attempting to locate McCarter at residences in the Bloomfield area, but they were unsuccessful.
McCarter has been employed as a truck driver, and one law enforcement source said officers believed McCarter had left the state and was in Ohio.
Through the cooperation of personnel from numerous agencies, McCarter was found. Besides ISP Trooper Harshman, several other members of the U.S. Marshals Task Force were involved in the hunt for McCarter and his arrest.
McCarter became a suspect in December when Criger and local DCS case workers first began looking into allegations of child molestation at the residence of McCarter's girlfriend, 29-year-old Rachel B. Smith of Bloomfield.
Smith and McCarter lived together at Smith's home, located at 1060 E. Miller Rd., Bloomfield.
Not long after the initial investigation began, in January of 2013, the Greene County Department of Child Services (DCS) received a report of new allegations involving Smith and McCarter.
The new report was made by parents of two girls aged 6-8 who had been playing with the alleged female victim of a similar age. The girls had asked a parent the meaning of some sexually suggestive words and the parents were alarmed.
The parents of the children told investigators that for one play session, the victim came wearing a collar and was asked about it. In conversations with the victim at the friends' home, the victim allegedly shared graphic details of incidents of a sexually-abusive nature.
A series of interviews was conducted by Criger and DCS personnel, then deputies assisted DCS case managers with the removal of the alleged child victim from the home, in January, and no further information is available regarding the disposition of the CHINS case involving the child.
In the affidavits filed in criminal cases against both McCarter and Smith, Criger indicated that the victim's stories of sexually abusive incidents did not change.
In one interview, the child told investigators she was "John's slave."
The lengthy affidavit in McCarter's case includes details of alleged incidents of sexual intercourse and other sexually-abusive activities involving McCarter and the child.
Both Smith and McCarter are accused of taking inappropriate and sexually explicit pictures of the naked child in an unusual position.
As a result of the interviews, the court approved requests for search warrants that were executed at the home with assistance from Greene County Sheriff's detectives and deputies.
According to probable cause affidavits filed in both cases, numerous pornographic and sex-related items were found throughout the residence.
Criger reported officers also seized computers, video cameras, CD and DVD discs, magazines and books, items of clothing, sexual devices, and a collar, that were collected as evidence.
Some of the evidentiary items were transferred to a detective with the Indiana State Police for processing, and Criger reported they found pornographic pictures of the child on a phone and a laptop.
Criger said officers did not collect everything that they found in the home that was related to this investigation because it was too numerous.
Smith has been incarcerated in the Greene County Jail for the past 23 days. She was arrested on July 29 by Greene County Courthouse Security Deputies Terry Wade and Jim Carpenter and Criger at the conclusion of a CHINS (Child in Need of Services) hearing in Greene Circuit Court.
Smith has been charged with one count of child exploitation, a class C felony. Her bond is set at $10,000 surety with 10 percent cash allowed but she has not posted bond and remains behind bars.
In McCarter's case, Judge Allen ordered he be held without bond when McCarter is booked into the Greene County Jail.
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