A girl who was raped and children filmed inside a park shower in Ohio were cases highlighted Wednesday in an FBI hosted press conference about recent child exploitation cases.
A Minerva man punched, slapped and pushed a Missouri girl after meeting her at a pizza hut in Missouri and returning with her to his Ohio home, according to the 14-year-old girl's testimony. She also said he put chains around her feet and neck and engaged in sexual acts with her, calling her "stupid b****" and "wh***."
He tightened the chains until she passed out, according to her testimony.
Investigators said the girl told them that she met Eric Shotwell, 41, on a dating site that she had gone on to make new friends. She said they texted for two months, then he wanted to meet her, according to the FBI.
Part of their exchange included Shotwell sending the 14-year-old nude photos of himself, according to her testimony. She allegedly said she also sent him nude photos.
He knew she was 14 when he engaged in sexual acts with her, according to her testimony.
By using the Text Now app on her phone, authorities said they were able to track the girl, who had been missing since March 11. They reportedly found her in Shotwell's home, six days later, and arrested him.
This is just one of many cases authorities have been dealing with, Ohio U.S. Attorney Carole Rendon said Wednesday.
Rendon also pointed to an indictment filed that day in federal court against a Cleveland man who allegedly videotaped women and girls in a Geneva State Park shower.
Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers were able to identify James D. Sullivan by testing DNA he left behind in the ceiling tiles above the showers, according to Rendon.
Prior to this Sullivan had spent more than 25 years in prison for raping a young girl and had been out on parole for less than a year when the shower incident occurred, Rendon reported.
Sullivan, 58, was charged with attempted production of child pornography and possession of child pornography, according to the FBI. After his arrest on July 18 for the shower filming, federal agents searched his laptop computer and found evidence that he used it to view child pornography and images of children being sexually assualted, according to court documents.
Another case Rendon cited was the sentencing of a Northwood High School teacher Wednesday morning in Toledo. She said that Frank Stephan Jr.'s was sentenced to 10 years in prison and $50,000 in restitution to his victims for possessing child pornography and sexually assaulting a former student.
A Parma man's case was also cited. Rendon said Richard Purnell repeatedly raped a girl beginning at the age of 13, who he had found on Backpage.com.