INDIANAPOLIS — A Shelbyville man with a lengthy criminal history will now serve time in federal prison after he admitted to sexually abusing a child and filming it.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana says Justin Potts will serve the next 40 years in federal prison. The sentence comes after he pleaded guilty to four counts of sexual exploitation of a six-year-old girl.
“This serial predator inflicted horrific abuse on an innocent child to satisfy his criminal sexual desires,” said Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. “Mr. Potts will now spend decades in federal prison, where he cannot sexually abuse another child.”
The sentencing memorandum in the case against Potts says he has a lengthy criminal history dating back to a juvenile adjudication for child molesting when he was 14. Since then, he continued to commit crimes such as forgery and failure to appear.
In 2014, when Potts was 29, he was convicted of molesting a 15-year-old child in Hancock County. In that case, he was sentenced to seven years in prison. After he was released from prison in 2019, he failed to register as a sex offender.
When Potts was released from probation in early 2021, court documents indicate he started looking for his next victim. In December of that year, he started living with a woman with a six-year-old daughter.
Potts admitted to molesting the girl and taking photos and videos of that abuse. That child sexual abuse material would end up making its way into a Google account, alerting the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
In at least two of the videos, the probable cause affidavit states it appears that the abuser is producing the material. He had several distinctive tattoos and wore a distinctive watch.
In one video, police got a look at the room where the child sexual abuse material was produced. Two confederate flag license plates hung on the wall. There also appeared to be a confederate flag blanket.
Police were quickly able to determine that Potts was producing the video and went to search the residence. Once there, Potts admitted to the distinctive tattoos and described his room which matched the one seen in the video.
Potts would admit to making the videos but claimed he didn’t remember specifically making them due to his methamphetamine problem causing memory issues. He claimed that while he was high, he became sexually excited.
The document states Potts also admitted to getting child sexual abuse material through Kik.
He eventually pleaded guilty to three counts of sexually exploiting the girl and one count of committing those offenses while he was required to register as a sex offender.
Along with the 10-year sentence, Potts was ordered to be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for the rest of his life and pay $10,000 in restitution to the girl. He also must register as a sex offender wherever he lives, works, or goes to school, as required by law.