Greenfield man facing multiple charges in child exploitation, solicitation case

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Joseph Anthony Wortman, 33, Greenfield

HANCOCK COUNTY — A Greenfield man has been accused of numerous child exploitation and child solicitation crimes following an investigation by a multi-jurisdiction task force located in Hamilton County.

Officials arrested Joseph Anthony Wortman, 33, 300 block of Harding Avenue, Thursday and noted that he is facing 10 different charges against children.

Charges were filed in Hancock County Circuit Court on Thursday with an initial hearing set for Friday afternoon. Judge Scott Sirk set a $15,000 cash bond and gave Wortman his next court date, which is set for Sept. 5.

Wortman has been charged with eight Level 4 felony counts of child exploitation with an aggravating factor found from eight separate incidents beginning in April 2021 through December of 2023. He’s also been charged with two Level 5 felony counts of child solicitation from incidents in November of 2023.

According to officials in a release, Wortman was investigated by the Hamilton County Metro ICAC Task Force after the team received multiple cyber tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

During the course of the investigation, detectives served a search warrant at Wortman’s residence in Greenfield, where multiple digital devices were seized that contained evidence of possession of child sexual abuse material.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed with officials in the Hancock County Prosecutor’s office, some of the exploited children were toddlers, as young as 1 to 3 years old. In addition to distributing images, during a conversation with an undercover FBI agent, Wortman said that he was pursuing a child to have sexual relations with for $200-$250.

The affidavit states that officials first approached Wortman in person in March of this year and told him they had a search warrant for his person along with the apartment granted March 1 through Hamilton County Superior Court.

Officials noted that Wortman admitted to using specific applications and told officials he would trade and share child pornography to keep conversations moving and build credibility within the groups he was part of. Wortman estimated that he distributed child pornography 40-50 times initially, the affidavit said.

During the residential warrant service, several electronic items were seized from Wortman’s apartment and off his person, officials said in the report. Digital forensics were conducted on his smartphone. Through the forensics, officials said they tagged over 1,000 images of concern pertaining to child pornography.

Officials stated that Wortman had been distributing and possessing child pornography in Hancock County, from June of 2021 to March 1 of this year.

Officials noted the task force is headquartered in the Fishers Police Department and is comprised of detectives from Greenfield, Carmel, Fishers, Westfield, Noblesville, the Hamilton County Sheriff, and the Department of Homeland Security.

The task force focuses on internet crimes against children and investigates child exploitation cases in Hamilton, Hancock, Madison and Tipton counties.