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Richard and Charles Kruse

Father-son duo allegedly produced, distributed child porn involving sexually abused little boy

A sawed-off fingertip reportedly led authorities in Texas to arrest a man for producing child pornography — and his son for distributing it.

Per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Richard Lee Kruse, 63, and Charles Lee Kruse, 42, were federally indicted Thursday, weeks after authorities searched the son’s home and computer. The initial criminal investigation began in September 2016, when a boy younger than five accused Richard of sexually abusing him.

Richard reportedly tried to take his own life on September 20, 2016, days after police interviewed him regarding the sexual abuse allegations. He was charged with sexual assault of a child in October 2016, and sentenced a month later, though court records didn’t disclose his sentence.

It was in January of this year when the FBI Dallas Child Exploitation Task Force determined a computer belonging to Richard’s son was distributing child pornography. The Star-Telegram reported that authorities searched the home Charles shared with his mother and step-father in September; he ultimately admitted that his computer stored a folder containing more than 1,000 images depicting child porn.

Charles allegedly claimed he took the thumb drive from his father after the sex assault allegations came to light. He reportedly also admitted to seeing nude images of the victim on the drive and failing to tell police.

Authorities were ultimately able to identify Richard as a suspect because one of the illicit photos allegedly stored in his son’s computer showed his thumb and a partial index finder wrapped around the victim’s waist. In addition to examining fingerprints, Charles’ mother confirmed to police that Richard had previously sawed off part of his finger, according to the outlet.

The father and son were arrested on November 9, two days after authorities reportedly located the images on the son’s computer. Charles was indicted on possessing and distributing child porn while Richard is facing charges of producing child pornography and sexual abuse to a child.

 

[Featured image: Richard Lee Kruse, Charles Lee Kruse/Randall County Jail]