Loogootee man sentenced to federal prison on possession of sexually explicit material involving a minor

EVANSVILLE – Ryan Watkins, 47, of Loogootee, was sentenced to ten years in federal prison after pleading guilty to possession of sexually explicit material involving a minor.

Ryan Watkins

According to court documents, on multiple occasions between January and April of 2023, Watkins viewed and downloaded images of child sexual abuse material to his cell phone linked to an internet cloud-based data storage platform.

Investigators examined the files and found more than 600 images depicting minors under twelve years old engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Investigators also located sexually explicit photos in a Google Chrome cache folder and download folders on Watkins’ cellphone.

In May of 2010, Watkins was convicted of felony child molestation in Daviess County and was a registered sex offender at the time he was viewing the sexually explicit material involving minors.

Zachary A. Myers

“This previously convicted child molester chose to continue seeking gratification from the sexual abuse of children,” said Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, Zachary A. Myers. “He didn’t care about the trauma that was inflicted on these victims so long as he could enjoy this heinous material. Thanks to the U.S. Secret Service, Indiana State Police, and our federal prosecutor, our children are safer, and this dangerous offender is back behind bars where he belongs.”

Judge Richard L. Young

The United States Secret Service and the Indiana State Police investigated this case. U.S. District Court Judge Richard L. Young imposed the sentence. Judge Young also ordered that the U.S. Probation Office supervise Watkins for fifteen years following his release from federal prison and that he pay $6,000 in restitution.

Todd S. Shellenbarger

U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant United States Attorney Todd S. Shellenbarger, who prosecuted this case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims