VALPARAISO | Police say a Valparaiso man persuaded his girlfriend to molest a child she was baby-sitting and send photos of the abuse to his cellphone.
Ryan Schroeder, 26, of Valparaiso, was charged Monday in Porter County with aiding in child molestation, aiding in child exploitation, possession of child pornography, aiding in voyeurism and aiding in theft. In all, he was charged with 23 felonies that carry a total maximum sentence of 121 years in prison.
Police said he is the former boyfriend of a Wanatah woman charged in October with 13 felony counts alleging she sexually abused a 3-year-old boy in the bedroom of his Chesterton home where she was baby-sitting.
Indiana State Police said Schroeder is serving in the U.S. Navy and is based in Florida.
The abuse came to light when an anonymous caller contacted LaPorte County authorities about forwarding to them an email containing photos and videos of a woman sexually molesting a young boy, according to court records. The caller identified the woman as Tara Tryon.
The caller mailed memory cards containing the photos and videos to the LaPorte County Sheriff's Department and the Valparaiso office of the Indiana Department of Child Services.
One of the memory cards was passed along to Indiana State Police, which discovered 39 photos and two videos reportedly showing Tryon, 21, involved in various sex acts with the child. Police also identified the anonymous caller and the person who originally received the images.
The parents of the young boy confirmed Tryon watched their child in their home and verified the images were from the boy's bedroom.
Tryon was arrested, but she now is free on bail.
Indiana State Police said Schroeder asked Tryon to molest the boy and then received photos of the abuse on his cellphone. Schroeder was not in the military at the time, police said.
Special agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service arrested Schroeder on Monday in Jacksonville, Fla. He is being held at the Jacksonville County Jail and is awaiting extradition to Porter County.