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Man held without bond in child porn case

December 12, 2012
By MARK LAW - Staff writer ( , The Herald-Star

COLUMBUS - A Mount Pleasant man was ordered held without bond on a charge of receipt of child pornography following a hearing Tuesday in U.S. District Court.

Ryan Kasler, 31, of 24 Union St., Mount Pleasant, was arrested at his home Thursday after a raid by federal authorities.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Preston Deavers ordered Kasler be held without bond following a detention hearing on Tuesday.

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The U.S. Attorney's Office in Columbus reported the case now will be presented to a federal grand jury for possible indictment.

Kasler faces five to 20 years in prison on the receipt of child pornography charge, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Kasler's name and address were uncovered during an investigation into a foreign company distributing child pornography, according affidavit for a criminal complaint filed in federal court on Friday.

Between Jan. 28, 2006, and Feb. 15, 2011, Kasler placed orders and made purchases of films and photos on 13 occasions, according to the affidavit filed by a U.S. Postal inspector. The films and photos contained child pornography, the postal inspector said.

The postal inspector said the investigation revealed Kasler is employed by the Martins Ferry Romanian Mission.

The First Christian Church of Martins Ferry operates the Romanian Mission, according to the church's website.

Kasler is listed at the director of the Romanian Mission, according to the church's website, and he directs the mission's day-to-day affairs and is serving as onsite missionary in Arad and Ghioroc, Romania.

The mission is working to construct a children's home in Romania, according to the website.

An unnamed witness was interviewed by the postal inspector, and the witness claimed Kasler had photographed him nude on numerous occasions between the ages of 8 and 12 years of age. The witness, now 22 years old, told postal inspectors he had known Kasler for about 15 years and had lived with him in Romania and the United States.

Kasler provided a statement to investigators in which he admitted to taking numerous nude photos of the witness and had engaged in sexual contact with the victim twice in Romania when the witness was about 13 to 14 years old.

The U.S. Attorney's Office reported the investigation by postal inspectors is continuing, and additional charges against Kasler are possible.

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