Madisonville, Ky. (December 3, 2021) — The Kentucky State Police (KSP) Electronic Crime Branch arrested Ryan A. Hardin, 39, on charges related to child sexual abuse material.
Mr. Hardin was arrested as the result of an undercover Internet Crimes Against Children investigation. The KSP Electronic Crime Branch began the investigation after discovering the suspect sharing images of child sexual exploitation online.
The investigation resulted in a search warrant at a residence in Madisonville on December 2, 2021. Equipment used to facilitate the crime was seized and taken to KSP’s forensic laboratory for examination. The investigation is ongoing.
Mr. Hardin is currently charged with ten counts of distribution of matter portraying a minor in a sexual performance and ten counts of possession of matter portraying a minor in a sexual performance with a victim over 12 years old. These charges are Class-D felonies punishable by one to five years in prison. Mr. Hardin was also charged with ten counts of possession of matter portraying a minor in a sexual performance with a victim under 12 years old. These charges are Class-C felonies punishable by five to ten years in prison. Mr. Hardin was lodged in the Hopkins County Detention Center.
The Kentucky Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force is comprised of more than twenty-six local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. The mission of the ICAC Task Force, created by the United States Department of Justice and administrated by the Kentucky State Police, is to assist state and local law enforcement agencies in developing a response to cyber enticement and child sexual abuse material investigations. This support encompasses forensic and investigative components, training and technical assistance, victim services, prevention and community education. The ICAC program was developed in response to the increasing number of children and teenagers using the internet, the proliferation of child sexual abuse material, and the heightened online activity of predators searching for unsupervised contact with underage victims.
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