CLAY, Ky. (March 19, 2023) — Through the investigation, two juvenile victims were identified and interviewed. During the interviews, there were multiple incidents of rape and sodomy reported, with Mr. Belt being the accused. These incidents have supposedly been occurring for over a year. During a search of Mr. Belt’s electronic devices, digital evidence was recovered supporting these claims. As a result, additional charges have been issued to Damien K. Belt. Mr. Belt’s additional charges are 3 counts of Unlawful Transaction with a Minor, 1st Offense, Illegal Sex Act with a minor under 16 and 3 counts of Use of a Minor under 16 in a Sexual Performance. These charges are Class-B felonies punishable by 10-20 years in prison. Mr. Belt was also charged with 3 counts of Rape 2nd, and 3 counts of Sodomy 2nd. These charges are Class-C felonies punishable by 5-10 years in prison.
Original News Release below:
CLAY, Ky. (March 15, 2023) — The Kentucky State Police (KSP) Electronic Crime Branch arrested Damien K. Belt, 31, on charges related to child sexual abuse material.
Mr. Belt 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 Clay, KY on March 14, 2023. Equipment used to facilitate the crime was seized and taken to KSP’s forensic laboratory for examination. The investigation is ongoing.
Mr. Belt is currently charged with thirty-three counts of distribution of matter portraying a minor in a sexual performance under 12 years old, thirty-three counts of possession of matter portraying a minor in a sexual performance under 12 years old (Class-C felonies punishable by five to ten years in prison) and two counts of promoting a minor under 16 in a sexual performance (Class-B felonies punishable by ten to twenty years in prison). Mr. Belt was lodged in the Webster 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 administered 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.
# # #