Madison Co. council member charged with child pornography, solicitation

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A member of a central Indiana county council was charged Monday with child solicitation and possession of child pornography.

The Madison County Prosecutor’s Office filed the Level 6 felony charges against Madison County Councilman Steve Sumner. The Herald Bulletin in Anderson reports an arrest warrant was issued for Sumner, 52, on Monday. He couldn’t be reached for comment, and online court records did not list an attorney representing him.

Indiana State Police allege in court records that Sumner performed sex acts on a girl under the age of 16 during the past two years. The investigation of Sumner, conducted by state police and the FBI, was prompted by allegations made by the girl, now 16 years old.

The girl allegedly told investigators Sumner gave her an alcoholic beverage, touched her inappropriately, performed sex acts on her and tried to get her to touch him in a sexual manner.

In addition, investigators allegedly found on Sumner’s cellphone 138 images of females exposing their breasts and genital areas.

Sumner, a Republican, represents District 2 on the county council after being elected to a second term in 2018. If convicted of the charges, Sumner would face a six- to 30-month prison sentence and a maximum fine of $10,000.

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