Chesterton Tribune

Man facing federal child porn charges manages Chesterton restaurant

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A Portage resident who manages a Chesterton fast-food restaurant is facing child pornography charges in federal court.

On June 19, a complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana against Michael A. Hostetler, of 7024 Nottingham Ave., alleging that numerous images of child pornography were recovered from computers in his possession.

According to the complaint, on March 21 a Michigan City Police detective launched a publicly available peer-to-peer file-sharing program and subsequently found an IP address “which appeared to be sharing files that depicted minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.” The MCPD detective subsequently downloaded four files and confirmed that at least three of them contained child-pornographic images, the complaint states.

On May 18, a subpoena was served on Comcast for information on the subscriber using that IP address and a billing address for Hostetler was obtained, the complaint states.

Then, on May 24, a search warrant was executed at the Nottingham Ave. residence and three laptops, two Applies iPhones, and thumb drives, and numerous DVDs were seized. An on-scene preliminary investigation determined that several videos depicting minors in sexually explicit conduct were found on a laptop in the bedroom, the complaint states.

Hostetler was not himself at home at the time but working as general manager of an unspecified fast-food restaurant in Chesterton. He was located, agreed voluntarily to speak with investigators, and admitted to downloading and viewing child pornography, the complaint states.

“Hostetler was unsure when or why he first began viewing child pornography, saying it may have been within the last eight months,” the complaint states. “Hostetler believes he has a demon inside him which makes him download child pornography.”

Hostetler also admitted having sex with one of his employees, a 16-year-old girl, following a party where alcohol was served, although at the time he believed that she was 18, the complaint states.

Hostetler was released after posting a $20,000 bond, court documents indicate.


Posted 6/27/2012