Two Columbus men have pleaded guilty to federal charges of producing and possessing child pornography involving two local boys, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The case against Leslie Woods, 26, and Brock Boston, 29, both of 2905 Kentucky Ave., centers on illegal activity in the latter part of 2011.
Woods and Boston admitted to coercing a 16-year-old Columbus boy to engage in sexual conduct Dec. 30, 2011, in order to produce explicit videos. The act took place at the home Boston shared with Woods, a convicted sex offender in Illinois, according to affidavits.
Additionally, Boston touched a 4-year-old boy in a sexual manner at the residence between Nov. 11 and Nov. 13, 2011, to produce a pornographic video, the affidavit said.
A judge must accept the guilty pleas of Leslie Woods, 26, and Brock Boston, 29, on federal charges of producing and possessing child pornography.
If a judge accepts guilty pleas from the Columbus men, presentencing hearings would be conducted.
A judge would determine how many years the men would be sentenced to serve in prison.
The process could take four to six months.
While the age of consent in Indiana is 16, the men’s production and possession of pornographic videos of the teen are against the law, U.S. Attorney Joseph Hogsett said Wednesday.
The U.S. Marshals Service began searching for Woods in early 2012 when they were alerted that he was not complying with Illinois Sex Offender Registry requirements.
Research of Woods’ background revealed that he also spent time in Texas, Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The investigation also revealed and that he was dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Navy in 2006 after he was convicted of two counts of wrongful receipt and possession of child pornography. He served 45 months in prison and was required to register as a sex offender, according to an affidavit.
Marshals located Woods in Columbus by tracking his cellphone activity. Federal authorities then learned of Boston while searching for Woods.
According to an affidavit:
U.S. marshals went to Woods’ home on Kentucky Avenue on Feb. 29, to serve him with an arrest warrant for failing to register as a sex offender in Indiana. Boston answered the door and initially said he did not know Woods’ whereabouts. After a brief conversation with the marshals, Boston yelled for Woods to come out of the back. When Woods did, he was arrested.
Boston permitted the marshals to search his residence to find Woods’ cellphone, which was located. Boston also allowed the marshals to search his laptop computer. Another laptop was located, which Woods said was his and it contained child pornography.
During an interview with Woods, and by looking at Woods’ cellphone, it was determined that Boston appeared in a video with the 4-year-old boy. Marshals interviewed Boston on March 1, and he admitted he was the person in the video with the boy and possessed a large collection of child pornography on his laptop, an affidavit said.
“It is a very disturbing and uncomfortable set of circumstances,” Hogsett said.
The charge of producing child pornography carries a sentence of 15 to 30 years in prison, Hogsett said. The possession of child pornography charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Woods could receive an additional 10 years for failing to register as a sex offender in Indiana.
Woods and Boston also could face fines of up to $250,000, supervised release after leaving prison and lifetime registration as a sexual predator, according to plea agreements filed with the court
Boston and Woods made their initial court appearance Monday in Indianapolis.
The U.S. Marshals Service is detaining Boston in Grayson, Ky., and Woods in Henderson, Ky. Federal prisoners are held in these facilities while awaiting court appearances. Once sentenced, they are sent to a Bureau of Prisons facility, said Tim Horty, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
A judge still must accept the guilty pleas. Hogsett said the men are presumed innocent until the judge accepts the plea. Also, the men could revoke their plea agreements before going in front of the judge, meaning the case would go to trial, Hogsett said.
Once a judge accepts a guilty plea, a presentencing hearing must be conducted before the judge determines the punishment, Hogsett said. This process could take four to six months, he added.