Office of the Attorney General
Jefferson County Man Faces 8-count Indictment in Child Pornography Case
Attorney General Jack Conway and United States Attorney of the Western District, David J. Hale, jointly announce the indictment of a Louisville man for possession of child pornography and for allegedly trying to solicit a minor on the Internet, among other charges.
A federal grand jury in Louisville returned the 8-count superseding indictment against 33-year-old Benjamin Kula Wilmes on March 2, 2011. Wilmes is charged with using his computer to knowingly receive child pornography, possessing child pornography and attempting to knowingly transfer obscene matter of himself to another who had not attained the age of 16-years-old. He is also accused of knowingly attempting to persuade, induce and entice a minor in sexual activity.
The charges against Wilmes are the result of a sting operation in Bowling Green in 2007 conducted by Perverted Justice, a public watchdog group, which resulted in an investigation by the Attorney General's office and its Kentucky Bureau of Investigations, now the Department of Criminal Investigations.
During the sting operation, Wilmes allegedly chatted online with an individual he believed to be a 13-year-old girl over the course of four months. The chats included discussions of meeting to engage in sexual activity; however, Wilmes failed to show up at a prearranged location. He is also accused of transmitting sexually explicit web cam images of himself.
A forensic examination of Wilmes' computers revealed more than 100 child pornographic images and 13 videos.
If convicted, Wilmes faces a maximum of life in prison. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jo Lawless. Wilmes is scheduled to appear before United States Magistrate Judge James D. Moyer on March 22, 2011 at 9:30 a.m.
A charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.