GREENFIELD — A man who police say exchanged naked pictures with a McCordsville boy will spend six months in the Hancock County Jail after a guilty plea.
Christopher Rutter, 34, of Indianapolis, pleaded guilty to a Level 6 felony charge of dissemination of matter harmful to minors. He was sentenced Wednesday in Hancock County Superior Court 1.
Rutter was sentenced to six months in the Hancock County Jail followed by a year on probation. Any activity he has online will be monitored.
Indiana State Police officers began investigating Rutter in February 2015 after the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children alerted them to explicit messages Rutter exchanged on social media with a juvenile, court records state.
The center had received an alert of inappropriate conduct between an adult and a minor on Skout.com, a social networking site.
Rutter and the boy traded naked pictures and discussed meeting for sex at the boy’s McCordsville home, court documents state.
In the message thread, police discovered the boy told Rutter he was underage, but the revelation did not stop Rutter from soliciting the boy, court documents state.
“OK, but I’m 15. Are you OK with that,” the boy asked Rutter.
“Got a pic to send me first” Rutter replied, court documents state.
Rutter was arrested in November and charged with child exploitation as a Level 5 felony and dissemination of matter harmful to minors as a Level 6 felony.
He admitted to the latter allegation last month; the remaining charge was dismissed as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors.
Hancock County Probation Department officials found Rutter was at a low risk to reoffend, a rarity for people charged with sex crimes, officers noted. Still, officers recommended all of Rutter’s online activity be monitored during the year he spends on probation.
Rutter told the judge Wednesday during the sentencing hearing he used social media to meet new people and did not initially realize the person he was communicating with was underage. When that became apparent, however, Rutter said he did not halt the communication like he should have.
Rutter told the judge he was sorry for his actions and was sorry for any suffering he caused the victim in this case.
“I was a bad example to him as to how to live your life,” Rutter said.