• 46°

Lancaster man among 10 arrested for sex crimes

Eddie Rowe, 53, of Lancaster is one of 10 individuals who have been charged by the Attorney General Cyber Crimes Unit, Kentucky State Police and local police departments as part of “Operation Shielded Child,” which aims to catch people committing sexual crimes online involving minors.

Rowe was charged with 100 counts of possession of a matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor and one count of distribution of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor. All 101 counts are Class D felonies, each punishable by 1-5 years in prison.

A total of 10 people including Rowe were arrested over a 10-day period in September, Attorney General Andy Beshear announced at a news conference Monday. There were more than 400 felony charges brought against the 10 people.

Operation Shielded Child was launched in July and produced two arrests over the first two days it was in operation, Beshear said.

Prior to Operation Shielded Child, the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office charged an average of about 15 people per year with sex crimes involving minors, Beshear said.

“I’m happy to say that between Jan. 4 and Sept. 1, they have removed 31,” he said.

Beshear said there can be as many as 500,000 people who are online looking for child victims.

“We will never be satisfied if there is one remaining child predator in Kentucky that we have not identified and caught,” he said. 

The first two Operation Shielded Child arrests came in Paducah. The operation has now expanded to other counties, which led to the 10 arrests made last month. 

The nine counties where the child predators were caught were Hardin, Allen, Franklin, Boone, Kenton, Shelby, Jessamine, Garrard and Scott. 

Besides Rowe, the other nine charged are:

• William Crowe, 32, of Scottsville: 100 counts of possession of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor; and one count of distribution of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor;

• Phillip Farley, 45, of Walton: 20 counts of possession of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor; and one count of distribution of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor;

• Barry Moravec, 63, of Burlington: 25 counts of possession of matter portraying the sexual performance by a minor;

• Douglas Ray Judy, 33, of Frankfort: one count of prohibited use of an electronic communications system to procure a minor for sex, a Class D felony; and two counts of violating his conditions as a registered sex offender in Kentucky, a Class C felony; 

• Eric Easley, 47, of Vine Grove: 40 counts of possession of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor; and one count of distribution of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor;

• Daniel Rike, 34, of Nicholasville: 100 counts of possession of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor; and one count of distribution of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor;

• Scott Hardesty, 47, of Independence: four counts of possession of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor;

• David Dunn, 58, of Dayton, Ohio: one count of prohibited use of an electronic communications system to procure a minor for sex; and

• Gary Stoops, 32, of Shelbyville: four counts of possession of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor.

Beshear said there is an additional individual who is still under investigation as a result of the operation.

“Operation Shielded Child is proving to be a very effective tool in the fight to protect our children,” Beshear said.