Rush County deputy, fireman faces child exploitation charges
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — A Rush County Special Sheriff’s Deputy and Rushville fireman appeared in U.S. District Court on Thursday for the alleged sexual exploitation of a child.
Philip Michael Harr, 29, of Rushville, faces charges of sexual exploitation of a child, and distributing and possessing child pornography, after a joint investigation by the FBI and the Rush County Sheriff’s Department.
According to court documents, Harr posed as a teenage girl on a social media platform to solicit images and videos that depict at least two minor victims engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
In a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) release, officials said the alleged victims were from Mississippi and Indiana.
Harr allegedly used the same social media application to distribute, receive, and possess images and videos of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
DOJ said Harr is to have allegedly engaged in much of the criminal conduct while on duty as a Rush County Special Sherriff’s Deputy and as a Rushville fireman.
Harr was also employed by the Rush County Government as a courtroom security officer and dispatcher.
According to DOJ, Harr is alleged to have “misused his position of public trust by using a law enforcement database to conduct searches for one of his minor victims.”
A Rush County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson said, “Our department would like to thank everyone involved in this investigation. Officers worked tirelessly to bring charges against Mr. Harr and seek justice for his victims.”
According to the DOJ release, Harr faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years in prison if convicted on all counts.
Officials said if you believe you have been a victim of Philip Michael Harr, please contact the Indianapolis FBI Office or call 317-595-4000.