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Case 1:14-cr-00176-RLY-DML Document 55 Filed 02/22/16 Page 1 of 21 PageID #: 206

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
INDIANAPOLIS DIVISION
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.

1:14-CR-176-RLY-DML

SPENCER WHEELER
Sentencing Memorandum
The United States of America, by counsel, Josh J. Minkler, United States
Attorney, and Steven DeBrota, Senior Litigation Counsel, hereby submits its
Sentencing Memorandum in advance of the hearing presently scheduled for
March 22, 2016.
For the reasons stated below, and the additional grounds the Unites States
intends to present during the sentencing hearing, the Court should impose a
sentence of up to 50 years of imprisonment, followed by a lifetime period of
supervised release. Under the relevant statute and upon conviction, the
Defendant faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years of imprisonment,
followed by supervised release for at least 5 additional years and up to the rest of
his life. See 18 U.S.C. § 2251. 1 The Plea Agreement caps the government
recommendation at 50 years of imprisonment under Fed.R.Crim.P 11(c)(1)(C),
but this does not bind the Court. See Paragraph 8.

The potential statutory maximum sentence for all counts added together and run consecutively
would be 516 years, though the United States is not requesting a sentence exceeding 50 years.
1

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Introduction:

Over a period of four months, Defendant Spencer Wheeler

(“Wheeler”) repeatedly engaged in criminal activity targeting 20 children. His
crimes greatly impacted the lives of these children and their families. He denied
these children their vital and personal right to grow up free from sexual
exploitation, coercion, threats, and interference by adults. On numerous
occasions, Wheeler used the Internet to extort girls to engage in sexually explicit
conduct or other sexually suggestive behavior on webcams visible to him. He
also extorted them to send him videos and images of themselves engage in
sexually explicit conduct or other sexually suggestive behavior. He specifically
ordered them to perform the highly degrading and exploitive acts he wanted to
see to fuel his sexual fantasies.
and middle schools.

Many of his child victims were in elementary

His conduct is in no way comparable to “sexting” between

minors of similar age—it was calculated sexual exploitation by a 26 year old
man. While doing these things, Wheeler committed hundreds of serious federal
crimes, each item of child pornography being a potentially separate charge. 2
The United States’ request for sentence of up to 50 years of imprisonment
falls hundreds of years below the advisory range of 516 years provided by a total
offense level of 47 at Criminal History Category I (later reduced to level 43 per the
Advisory Sentencing Guidelines). 3 This advisory range included consideration of
all applicable facts, special offense characteristics, and sentencing
enhancements, including the five (5) level increase for repeat and dangerous sex

The charging Information tells this story through the filing on one felony count per victim.
The Defendant has a 2011 conviction for theft in Marion County Superior Court, but is still in
Criminal History Category I.
2
3

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offenders involving minors in USSG § 4B1.5(b) and multiple count
enhancements in Chapter Three arising from the high number of victims. As the
Court knows, the final advisory range is the starting point of the statutory
sentencing analysis. 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Part 1:

Overview of the Case:

The Defendant’s crimes are described in Counts 1-20 of the Information
and the Presentence Investigation Report. To date, Wheeler has timely accepted
responsibility for these crimes and he is expected to plead guilty, thereby
insuring that his 20 victims and their families receive a quicker endpoint to their
suffering than would be the case if he had contested his guilt at trial. In crimes
against children cases, abating the ongoing harm to the victims is a paramount
value.

Because his crimes caused great injury, the victims’ lives will never be

the same.

They are unlikely ever to forget what he has put them through for his

sexual gratification.

He has sent them the enduring message that they are

nothing but objects for the sexual use of another person.

The sheer number of

videos and images he made them produce shows how difficult it will be for them
to get beyond this, especially with those victims repeatedly exploited in multiple
items of child pornography.

These children and their families also have to

contend with the risk that their images and videos will be continually and forever
redistributed by other offenders.

For this reason, the production of child

pornography the type of criminal that has the uniquely terrible power to
repeatedly victimize a child and their families for decades after their initial sexual

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exploitation.

No other crime has the ready power to cause such unending pain

and trauma.
This Sentencing Memorandum will provide details concerning the
Defendant’s crimes and the results of the extensive federal, state, and local
investigation of his conduct.

Considering these facts is appropriate under the

statutory sentencing factors in 18 U.S.C. § 3553, which include the nature and
circumstances of the offense, the defendant’s history and character, the need to
promote respect for the law, and to provide just punishment. These factors
taken together show that a sentence of up to 50 years would not be greater than
necessary to comply with 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

As charged in Counts 1-17, on

multiple occasions, the Defendant sexually exploited 17 minor girls. He also
unsuccessfully tried to do this to three more minor girls in Counts 18 through
20.
The Defendant was a resident of Avon, Indiana, who maintained accounts
at social networking websites, internet communication service providers, and
email providers, including Kik.com, Google.com, Photobucket.com,
Facebook.com, Yahoo.com, Skype.com, and Att.net.

Rather than using these

useful social networking tools to communicate with adults, Wheeler chose to
blackmail and exploit young girls while repeatedly posing as another girl
attending the victim’s school.
The victims, identified as Girl 1 through Girl 20, attended various
elementary schools, middle schools, or high schools depending upon their age.
The age distribution of the victims shows the aggravated nature of crimes

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because the average age put them in middle school. This was not an accident.
Wheeler wanted to find these young children and knew their ages because he
specially researched them as part of his criminal tradecraft.

The following chart

shows that age distribution of the victims:
Age 11

Age 12

Age 13

Age 14

Age 15

Girl 11

Girl 5

Girl 1

Girl 4

Girl 2

Girl 13

Girl 3

Girl 6

Girl 8

Girl 7

Girl 14

Girl 9

Girl 10

Girl 15

Girl 12
Girl 16
Girl 18
Girl 19
These girls were living in Indiana and many other states.

None of them

were equipped to deal with a 26 year old man bent on sexually exploiting them.
Unfortunately, all of these girls had accounts at social networking websites or
used cellular phone social networking applications.

Still worse, information

about where they lived or attended school could be found online or through the
Defendant social engineering of them.
At various time, the Defendant would use the Internet to search for
personal information about these girls, including their name and the location of
their schools.

He used this data, together with the name and address of each

girl, to target his victims and threaten their reputations. He also used what he

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learned to mislead some of these girls to believe that he was another student at
their school.

Because he knew who the victims were, and where they actually

went to school, these realistic threats terrified the victims. They believed he
could deliver on his threats and that he could be around the victim without them
knowing who his was.
To obtain the sexually explicit videos and images of the children, the
Defendant would coerce them by making devastating threats to their reputations
in their schools, their circle of friends, and their families.
a.

School Reputation Threats:

The Defendant threatened to notify

their school principals or other school officials that Girls 1 through 20 were
communicating about sexual matters online, or sending nude or partially
clothed images of themselves to other persons online.
b.

Friend Reputation Threats:

The Defendant threatened to notify

their minor school friends that Girls 1 through 20 were communicating about
sexual matters online, or sending nude or partially clothed images of themselves
to other persons online.

In some cases, he also threated to post images of these

minors in the bathrooms of their schools.
c.

Family Reputation Threats: The Defendant threatened to notify

their parents that Girls 1 through 20 were communicating about sexual matters
online, or sending nude or partially clothed images of themselves to other
persons online.
The Defendant’s behavior was highly calculated and manipulative. He
initially contacted the children primarily through websites or cellular phone

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applications hosting one-to-one video and text chat.

Some of these websites

and applications allowed users to seek out chat partners without having to
provide any accurate identifying information or significant age verification. For
example, Kik.com users were given the option to request a chat partner sharing a
common interest. Unfortunately, the application allowed the user to lie about
their age, gender, and location, with their imagination being the only constraint.
Alternatively, a user could simply make a connection to another user. Once
connected, the users could engage in text-based chat sessions, with or without
accompanying video from the user’s webcam.
The Defendant learned that he could game the system by selecting a
username of his own choosing.

The application thereby allowed him to select a

username falsely suggesting that he was an employee of Kik.com.

At various

times, the Defendant used the screen name “Kik.support.live” to trick the
children to believe that they were communicating with a legitimate technical
support representative at Kik.com, when in fact, they were actually
communicating with him.

By these means, he could learn their actual names

and addresses. From there, he could carefully assemble enough facts about the
children to greatly enhance the power of his extortion threats.
The Defendant also made initial contact with some victims through other
social networking platforms, including skype.com.

His overall pattern of

behavior increased in frequency and scope as he found more victims to exploit
and improved his criminal tradecraft.

Eventually, he assembled a large

collection child pornography and related visual materials, including 100’s of

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videos and images produced at his demand between on or about October 1, 2013
and on or about January 30, 2014.

Wheeler used this child pornography and

related material to fuel his sexual fantasies and to exploit further victims by
posing as a prior victim.

For example, after exploiting one girl, he would

sometimes distribute her images to another victim to pose as the minor and
exploit the next victim.
The following chart taken for the charging Information shows the terrible
scope of the exploitation. Each video and image caused the child victim great
distress and emotional trauma.

Each one is a permanent record of their

victimization.
Count
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13

Date
11-3-13 to
1-17-14
12-27-13
1-10-14
10-18-13 to
1-17-14
12-26-13
1-5-14 to
1-6-14
11-5-13 to
1-23-14
1-19-14
1-11-14 to
1-20-14
1-13-14 to
1-17-14
1-5-14 to
1-6-14
10-1-13 to
11-1-13
1-11-14

Minor
Girl 1

Videos
7

Images

Girl 2
Girl 3
Girl 4

Location
INDIANAPOLIS,
IN
HANOVER, PA
WYLIE, TX
OMAHA, NE

1
2
27

7
4
31

Girl 5
Girl 6

LORAIN, OH
WARREN, MI

3
1

Girl 7

WHITELAND, IN

4

Girl 8
Girl 9

ROSEVILLE, MI
PITTSBURG, PA

2

6
4

Girl 10

MUSKEGEON, MI

1

Girl 11

GARY, IN

3

Girl 12

APACHE
JUNCTION, AZ
ARLINGTON, TX

27

12

7

3

Girl 13

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Count
14

Date
1-9-14

Minor
Girl 14

15

1-22-14 to
1-30-14
11-28-13
12-30-13

16
17

Videos
3

Girl 15

Location
PUTNAM CITY,
OK
HAMPTON, VA

Girl 16
Girl 17

PORTAGE, MI
SUFFOLK, VA

2
1

Images

2

Secondly, as charged in Count 18-20, the Defendant sent extortionate
communications to Girl 18 through Girl 20 demanding that they produce child
pornography. Fortunately, these victims refused, but it was not for the
Defendant’s lack of trying. All of them lived in Indianapolis.
Count
18
19
20

Date
10-7-13 to 10-8-13
10-20-14 to 10-21-13
10-2-13 to 1-7-14

Victim
GIRL #18
GIRL #19
GIRL #20

Location
INDIANAPOLIS, IN
INDIANAPOLIS, IN
INDIANAPOLIS, IN

Threat methodology: The victims in this case wanted to meet other girls
online because they felt lonely or wanted to chat with someone their own age.
This is hardly unusual.

Adolescent teens commonly explore their

independence, sexuality, feelings and thoughts as the struggle to become who
they are.

In this case, some of these victims wanted to discuss their feelings

directed to other girls.

The Defendant exploited this by threatening to out the

victims as lesbians or sexually active at their schools, among their friend, or to
their parents.

But, the Defendant’s behavior did not stop at the sexual

victimization of the many victims. He actually followed through with his threats
in some cases.

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Girl 2:

The Defendant sent a message to the Principal at Girl 2’s school

in Hanover, Pennsylvania, telling them that she was engaging in sexting with
another minor girl.
images.

In fact, he coerced her to produce one video and seven

Girl 2 was eventually subject to criminal charges as a “sexting”

participant.

She was essentially treated as a criminal offender, not a victim,

because no one at her school had the knowledge, experience, or wisdom to
realize that her actions were driven by the Defendant’s extortion.
Girl 11:

The Defendant sent a message to the Principal at Girl 11’s

school in Gary, Indiana, telling them that she was engaging in sexting with
another minor girl.

In fact, he coerced her to produce three videos.

Unfortunately, the matter was not reported to law enforcement officials because
the school believed that the activity was occurring between minors and did not
involve an adult.
The Defendant continued to engage in his criminal behavior even after
several victims told him that they would kill themselves if he did not stop
threatening them. He showed a callous disregard for the direct and foreseeable
consequences of his actions, choosing instead to maintain his persistent pattern
of criminal activity involving both the production of child pornography and
related extortion. But for chance, he would have caused the death of Girl 10.
Girl 10: This 13 year old girl living in Muskegon, Michigan, made a serious
suicide attempt in response to the Defendant sexual exploitation of her that
resulted in one video. On January 17, 2014, she tried to hang herself. She
only survived because her scarf broke away from the wall and her breathing was

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restored. She then tried to take a fatal dose of medication, which also failed.
After receiving a 911 call, the Muskegon Police Department responded to the
suicide attempt and the child was later taken to a hospital and admitted.
Girl 10 comes from a family with very limited financial means. She lived
with her grandmother because the child’s mother was the victim of a homicide.
The child told the investigating officers that she was upset over the Defendant’s
bullying, who was then posing as a young girl at her school whose name she
provided. The Defendant threatened to place explicit photos of her on the wall
at her middle school. Girl 10 reported that she believed these threats because
the other girl knew the correct name of her middle school principal.
Girl 1: This 13 year old victim living in Indianapolis, Indiana, threatened
to kill herself in response to the Defendant sexual exploitation of her. The
Defendant coerced her into producing seven videos over the roughly nine week
period between November 3, 2013 and January 17, 2014.
Girl 4: This 14 year old victim living in Omaha, Nebraska, threatened to
kill herself in response to the Defendant sexual exploitation of her. The
Defendant ignored this and coerced her into producing 27 videos and 31 images
over the roughly twelve week period between October 18, 2013 and January 17,
2014.
Scope of Investigation:

Over the course of the present investigation, the

federal, state and local investigators in Indiana conducted search warrants,
analyzed seized computer data, and visually examined each and every one of the
many images and videos recovered during the investigation. The purpose of

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this work was to locate and identify every one of the victims where possible.
This was an exacting process that involved the careful consideration of the data
in each file, together with any metadata, and the other evidence in the case. All
of the social networking accounts of the relevant persons were examined.

The

analysis took weeks and led to the identification of the 20 victims. During the
interviews that followed their identification, the child victims reported that the
Defendant threatened and coerced them to engage in sexual conduct.
Sentencing Guideline Computation:

The Sentencing Guidelines and

the Presentence Investigative Report provide various sentencing enhancements
to the base offense level of 32 for sexual exploitation of a minor. 2G2.1(a). These
include a four level enhancement because one of the victims was under the age of
12 years.

The other victims were under the age of 16 years, thereby causing a

two level enhancement.

Counts 1-17 also received a two level enhancement

because the offenses involved the misrepresentation of the Defendant identity
and the use of a computer to coerce the minors to engage in the sexually explicit
conduct.

There is no question that the Defendant used a computer, the

Internet, and social networking applications and websites as an integral part of
this criminal tradecraft. Therefore, this enhancement was properly applied.
Finally, some of the offenses were enhanced because they involved the
commission of sexual acts, resulting in a two level enhancement.
The Court should note that the Sentencing Guidelines contain no
enhancement for extortionate behavior of the kind found in this case. Nor do
the Guidelines provide for incremental punishment for 20 victims. The multiple

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count enhancement found in Chapter Three cap at five levels.

Viewed as a

whole, the Guidelines provide an advisory sentence using proper and rational
specific offense characteristics.
Part 2: Factors under 18 U.S.C. § 3553
The Court’s reasoning in imposing a sentence must be guided by the
sentencing considerations set forth in 18 U.S.C. ' 3553(a).

In pertinent part,

these factors include: (1) the nature and circumstances of the offense and the
history and characteristics of the defendant; (2) the need for the sentence
imposed-- (A) to reflect the seriousness of the offense, to promote respect for the
law, and to provide just punishment for the offense; (B) to afford adequate
deterrence to criminal conduct; (C) to protect the public from further crimes of
the defendant. Because the Sentencing Guidelines are now advisory, the Court
must consider the § 3553 factors listed to determine the actual sentence.
The aggravated nature and circumstances of the offenses have been
discussed in detail above.

The resulting child pornography is generally

described in the Presentence Investigative Report. These facts form an accurate
and reliable basis to understand his true interests and activities, which show a
persistent pattern of exploitive sexual behavior target children. They also
provide a window to the Defendant’s history and character.

A nice man with a

good character does not do such things and would not be sexually attracted to
such young children.

Beyond this, the Defendant has a prior conviction in

2011 for theft. While his sentence included 4 days executed time, he apparently
learned nothing from this initial exposure to the criminal justice system. His

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probation ended on March 12, 2012, and he began committing the instant
crimes on October 1, 2013.
Nothing in the Defendant’s family background explains he present
criminal behavior.

While growing up, his family met his needs and he retains a

supportive, middle class family.

He suffered no injury or abuse enhancing his

risk of offending.
Congress, the Supreme Court, and the Sentencing Commission believe
that general deterrence is a very important factor when considering an
appropriate sentence in a child pornography case. See United States v. Ferber,
458 U.S. 747, 760 (1982) (AThe most expeditious if not the only practical method
of law enforcement may be to dry up the market for [child pornography] by
imposing severe criminal penalties on persons selling, advertising, or otherwise
promoting the product@); Osbourne v. Ohio, 495 U.S. 102, 109-10 (1990) (AIt is
also surely reasonable for the State to conclude that it will decrease the
production of child pornography if it penalizes those who possess and view the
product, thereby decreasing demand@); United States v. Goff, 501 F.3d 250, 261
(3rd Cir. 2007) (ADeterring the production of child pornography and protecting
the children who are victimized by it are factors that should have been given
significant weight at sentencing.@); United States v. Barevich, 445 F.3d 956, 959
(7th Cir. 2006) (ATransporting and receiving child pornography increases market
demand. The greater concern under the Sentencing Guidelines is for the welfare
of these exploited children. The avenue Congress has chosen to weaken the
child pornography industry is to punish those who traffic in it.@).

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In United States v. Goldberg, 491 F.3d 668, 672 (7th Cir. 2007), the
Seventh Circuit opined that:
Young children were raped in order to enable the production of the
pornography that the defendant both downloaded and uploaded B
both consumed himself and disseminated to others. The greater
the customer demand for child pornography, the more that will be
produced. Sentences influence behavior, or so at least Congress
thought when in 18 U.S.C. ' 3553(a) it made deterrence a statutory
sentencing factor. The logic of deterrence suggests that the lighter
the punishment for downloading and uploading child pornography,
the greater the customer demand for it and so more will be
produced.
Similarly, the Sixth Circuit reversed a district court when it failed to see
any importance in general deterrence. See United States v. Bistline, 665 F.3d
758, 767 (6th Cir. 2012). The district court stated Ageneral deterrence . . . will
have little [if] anything to do with this particular case.@ Id. The Sixth Circuit
found the district court’s statement Ainexplicable and in any event conflicts with
our statement that >general deterrence is crucial in the child pornography
context[.]@ Id. (citing United States v. Camiscione, 591 F.3d 823, 834 (6th Cir.
2010)).
Persons like Wheeler who have a sexual attraction to young children may
be difficult to deter, but these sentences matter. These offenders frequently
communicate with each other online and express concerns about law
enforcement efforts. In many ways, the results of these cases help to deter and
teach by example more than in other crimes where the offenders do not have
such extensive social networking behaviors. The Court should expect that the
result in this case will be watched by current and potential offenders who have
not yet been identified.

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Concerning the need for the sentence imposed to protect the public from
further crimes of the defendant, the Defendant continued to engage in his
criminal behavior even after multiple victims told him that they would kill
themselves if he did not stop threatening them. In one instance, he nearly
caused a child’s death. His callous disregard for the direct consequences and
foreseeable consequences of his actions shows that he has poor impulse control
and he more likely to commit future crimes than offenders for better impulse
control. When he wants to exploit a child, the law, his conscience, and the harm
pose no barriers. While he admitted his guilty on the day of his arrest, this does
not erase the significance of his complete lack of impulse control, the great harm
he caused, the high number of criminal acts, and the number of his victims.
Sextortion Cases in SDIN: Over the past several years, the Southern
District of Indiana has seen a substantial increase the number and severity of
“sextortion” cases like this one. The number of victims is increasing, while the
ages of the victims are greatly decreasing. Our local experience is not unique.
Sextortion is a national problem of great significant to public health and the
welfare of our children. Internet social networking and high technology,
especially the wide prevalence of cellular phones in the hands of children, has
made is easier for offenders like Wheeler to find potential victims, accurately
research them, pose as another minor, and sexually exploit them, while
maintaining a high degree of anonymity. Such offenders aren’t troubled by
jurisdiction boundaries and state lines, freely spreading their harm across the
nation. They are difficult to find, harder to investigate, and extremely difficult to

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hold accountable, especially when they reside in other places. In these
circumstances, general deterrence matters a great deal. These crimes deserve
the strong punishment provided by statute because there is not greater duty of
government than to protect children. We incarcerate many people in the United
States and at great expense. No one complains about the number of such
persons held in custody.
In drafting Title 110 of the United States Code, Congress provided strong
potential punishment for the sexual exploitation of a child. See 18 U.S.C. §
2251(a)( extensive Congressional findings follow the statute)(“the use of children
in the production of sexually explicit material . . . is a form of sexual abuse with
can result in physical and psychological harm, or both, to the children involved”
and “where children are used in its production, child pornography permanently
records the child’s abuse, and its continued existence causes the child victims of
sexual abuse harm by haunting those children in future years”). Each offense is
punishable by 15-30 years of imprisonment. Consecutive sentences are a
statutory option. See 18 U.S.C. § 3584.
Prior sexual exploitation cases: Many U.S. District Court Judges in the
Southern District of Indiana have imposed consecutive sentences for multiple
counts of sexual exploitation of a child in cases featuring multiple victims. None
of these sentencing have been overturned on appeal. Here are some examples:
The Court in United States v David Bostic, 1:11-cr-33-JMS-KPF, imposed a
315 year sentence, which included 255 years for 36 counts of sexual exploiting

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five children. The case was affirmed on appeal. 411 Fed.Appx.731, 2012 WL
2044811 (7th Cir 2012).
The Court in United States v Andrew McGrath, 1:09-cr-169-WTL-KPF
imposed a 370 year sentence for 24 counts of sexual exploiting five children.
The Court in United States v David Metzger, 1:09-188-LJM-KPF imposed a
235 year sentence for 15 counts of sexual exploitation of seven children. The case
was affirmed on appeal. 411 Fed.Appx. 1 (7th Cir. 2010)(unpublished opinion).
The Court in United States v Dick Noel, 1:11-cr-1292-LJM-DML imposed a
80 year sentence for sexual exploiting one child. The case was affirmed on appeal
581 F.3d 490, 500 (7th Cir. 2009) 4
The Court in United States v David Turner, IP 05-70-cr-H/F imposed a 100
year sentence for nine counts of sexual exploiting two teenagers. The case was
affirmed on appeal. 206 Fed.Appx.572 2006 WL 3368902 (7th Cir 2006).
Prior sextortion cases: Other cases involving sextortion in the Southern
District received substantial punishment as well, even when the offender was
younger than Wheeler or had many fewer victims in the offenses of conviction.
The following are some relevant examples.
In United State v Shea, 1:10-cr-96-WTL-DKL and 1:11-cr-169-WTL-KPF,
the 19 year old defendant pled guilty to sexually exploiting ten victims in the two
consolidated cases. He was sentenced to 33 years of imprisonment, followed by
lifetime supervised release. His victims were between 13 and 17 years old. 5 By

Judge Larry J. McKinney handled this matter after sentencing when Judge John Daniel Tinder
moved to the Seventh Circuit.
5 These facts can be found in the Stipulated Factual basis for the Shea case at docket entry 204.
4

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comparison, Wheeler was much older than Shea when he began his criminal
conduct and had twice as many victims (20 victims for Wheeler and 10 victims
for Shea).
In United States v Finkbiner, 2:12-cr-21-WTL-CMM and
2:13-cr-2-WTL-CMM, the 39 year old offender pled guilty to sexually exploiting or
extorting 12 victims in the two consolidated cases. He was sentenced to 40
years of imprisonment, followed by lifetime supervised release and fined
$70,000. Finkbiner had a large number of additional uncharged victims, but
Wheeler had eight more victims in the offenses of conviction than Finkbiner.
Finally, in United States v Williams, 1:13-cr-226-WTL, the 23 year old
offender pled guilty to sexually exploiting or enticing five victims. He was
sentenced to 28 years of imprisonment, followed by lifetime supervised release.
His crimes included many fewer victims than in the present case, and not all of
Williams’ offenses of conviction involved sextortion.
Considered together, these prior sextortion cases show that Wheeler’s case
has more victims in the offenses of conviction than previously seen, greater harm
through the nearly successful suicide attempt of Girl 10, and many more victims
in elementary and middle school. Also, Wheeler was older than Williams and
much older than Shea.
Sextortion of 20 children is troubling in countless ways. Even so, it
provides an object measure of the Defendant’s interests and potential damage
upon release from imprisonment. He needs sustained treatment for sexual
attraction to minor children and for his sadistic impulses driving his actions.

Case 1:14-cr-00176-RLY-DML Document 55 Filed 02/22/16 Page 20 of 21 PageID #: 225

His long standing and persistent pattern of behavior suggests that he enjoys
causing and watching the suffering and exploitation of the victims he seeks out
and coerces. He cannot reasonably believe that his actions did not terrorize a
highly vulnerable population as he intended. If he is not to reoffend, he needs
very substantial punishment and treatment.
Conclusion:

For the reasons stated, the United States will request the

Court to impose a sentence of up to 50 year of imprisonment, followed by lifetime
supervised release. Concerning restitution, to date, the United States has not
received any request for restitution. If any arrive before sentencing, or during
the look back period provided in the statute, the United States will inform the
Court.

Finally, the Court should impose a lifetime period of supervised release,

order forfeiture all of the seized materials, and impose a $2,000 mandatory
special assessment.
Respectfully submitted,
JOSH J. MINKLER
United States Attorney
By:

s/Steven D. DeBrota
Steven D. DeBrota
Assistant United States Attorney
Office of the United States Attorney
10 W. Market Street, Suite 2100
Indianapolis, IN 46204-3048
Telephone: (317) 226-6333
Fax: (317) 226-6125
Email: Steve.DeBrota@usdoj.gov

Case 1:14-cr-00176-RLY-DML Document 55 Filed 02/22/16 Page 21 of 21 PageID #: 226

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
I hereby certify that on February 22, 2016, a copy of the foregoing
Sentencing Memorandum was filed electronically. Notice of this filing will be sent
to the following parties by operation of the Court's electronic filing system.
Parties may access this filing through the Court's system.
By:

s/Steven D. DeBrota
Steven D. DeBrota
Senior Litigation Counsel
Office of the United States Attorney
10 W. Market Street, Suite 2100
Indianapolis, IN 46204-3048
Telephone: (317) 226-6333
Fax: (317) 226-6125
Email: Steve.DeBrota@usdoj.gov