MUNCIE — A Muncie man was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for distribution of child sexual abuse material via instant messaging app Kik.
According to court documents, the Muncie Police Department received an FBI tip stating that images depicting child sexual abuse had been uploaded to the instant messaging app Kik by username “BosJangles.”
The username belonged to Benjamin Covey, 43, of Eaton. Police also discovered Covey had been accused of allowing juveniles to drink and showing them sexually explicit materials.
Investigators contacted Covey, who agreed to do an interview. Covey confirmed he used the Kik account to join a group chat called “pedo for kids.”
Investigators searched Covey’s phone and found 600 images depicting child sexual abuse material. Many of the images showed prepubescent boys being made to engage in sexual acts. At least one of the images showed an adult engaged in a sexual act with a toddler.
"This dangerous criminal used Kik to find other pedophiles and share the horrific abuse of the most vulnerable victims,” Zachary A. Myers, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, said. “Those who gather online to revel in the exploitation of children will be identified and prosecuted. I am grateful to the FBI and the Muncie Police Department for work to ensure that this defendant will serve a significant prison sentence, where our children will be out of his reach.”
Covey was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison. He must also be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for 10 years following his release and register as a sex offender.