A former Boy Scout Executive to plea guilty to child exploitation charges.
33-year-old Ryan C. Bieler of Ireland has petitioned the federal court to enter a plea of guilty to child exploitation charges that include the possession and receipt of child pornography.
Bieler was most recently employed as a Senior District Executive of the Boy Scouts Buffalo Trace Council, which is based in
Evansville and includes five counties: Warrick, Spencer, Perry, Pike, and Dubois
According to a press release from Attorney General Joseph H. Hogsett office, a criminal complaint filed in November 2012, a joint investigation between the United States Postal Inspection Service and foreign law enforcement officials began in October 2010, centering on a movie production company located outside the United States. On May 1, 2011, a search warrant was executed at offices owned by this company, and law enforcement seized hundreds of DVD movies and photographs allegedly depicting sexually explicit conduct by children. It was allegedly determined that these images and movies were being shipped worldwide, and documents listing customers were located and analyzed.
As a result of this investigation, it was alleged that a customer of the movie company was located in Ireland, Indiana, and the records identified that individual as Ryan Bieler. On November 1, 2012, a search warrant was issued for his address, and on November 8, 2012, that warrant was executed. The complaint alleges that Bieler was home during the search, and agreed to speak with investigators.
During the search of the defendant’s home, a number of data storage discs were allegedly located and preliminarily examined, including DVDs purchased from the international movie company. Many of these discs allegedly depict minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. In addition, an initial forensic examination of the defendant’s home computer allegedly revealed more images and movies depicting child pornography. Bieler is alleged to have admitted to downloading and purchasing these materials during an interview with law enforcement.
The complaint alleges that Bieler also admitted to law enforcement that he had a sexual interest in minor children, with the materials located indicating a strong interest in minor boys. Investigators also allegedly located written material in the defendant’s home in which Bieler describes his physical attraction to particular boys he has had access to and interaction with through his positions with the Boy Scouts of America. Hogsett said the Boy Scouts of America were fully cooperating with federal law enforcement in their efforts.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Shellenbarger, who is prosecuting the case for the government, Bieler could face up to 10 years in prison for the count of possession of child pornography, and up to 20 years for the count of receiving child pornography, as well as substantial fines if he is found guilty. Bieler has been detained while he awaits a trial date, which
has not been set at this time.
A criminal complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This case was brought by the United States Postal Inspection Service, along with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) and the Indiana State Police, as part of the U.S. Attorney’s Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice.
Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more on Project Safe Childhood, visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.