TERRE HAUTE, IN - Paul Hoopingarner, 62, of Terre Haute, has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to three counts of distribution of child sexual abuse material, three counts of receiving child sexual abuse material, and one count of possession of child sexual abuse material.
According to court documents, beginning in at least January 2021, and continuing to at least February 2021, Hoopingarner used Kik to distribute and receive images and videos of the sexual abuse of children as young as eight-years-old. Hoopingarner used the screenname “domeeasey69” to communicate and share images and videos of adults engaged in sex acts with children with others who were also sexually interested in children. The material Hoopingarner shared and stored included depictions of the sadistic or masochistic conduct or other depictions of violence as well as depictions of the sexual abuse of toddlers and infants.
Hoopingarner is a repeat and dangerous sex offender against children, following his 1996 conviction for Child Molesting in Morgan County, Indiana.
United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, Zachary A. Myers, Indiana State Police Superintendent, Douglas Carter, and Jeffrey R. Adams, Special Agent in Charge of the USSS Indianapolis Field Office made the announcement.
“Pedophiles use the perceived anonymity of communications apps to share horrific images of child sex abuse and communicate with like-minded criminals,” said United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, Zachary A. Myers. “This defendant engaged in a series of horrific crimes and abuses against children, online and off, and he has now been held accountable for his actions. Thanks to the outstanding work of the Secret Service, Indiana State Police, and our federal prosecutor, the serious federal prison sentence imposed here ensures that he will never again harm a child.”
The United States Secret Service and Indiana State Police Investigated this case. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Court Judge, James P. Hanlon. Judge Hanlon ordered that Hoopingarner be supervised by the U.S. Probation office for the rest of his life following his release from federal prison.
U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant United States Attorney Tiffany J. Preston, who prosecuted this case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc