Court documents: Image search leads to arrest of Seymour man in child pornography case

SEYMOUR, Ind. – An Internet image search led to the arrest of a Jackson County man in a case involving a sexually explicit image of a child.

Robert W. Simpson, 62, of Seymour, is charged with possession of child pornography, a Level 5 felony. The Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office filed charges last week.

According to the probable cause affidavit, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) submitted a tip to the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force on April 6.

Robert Simpson

The trick involved a Bing image search for sexually explicit images of children; an ICAC investigator from the Bloomington Police Department began working on the case.

Microsoft, which owns and operates Bing, reported an image viewed on its services on March 7. The image involved a child under the age of 12 and was sexually explicit in nature, according to court documents.

“There is no sign of any serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value in this image,” the investigator wrote.

The investigator traced the image’s IP address and obtained a warrant from the service provider, Verizon Wireless. The phone number and address both traced back to Simpson. A subsequent search warrant was obtained for a Yahoo email address also associated with Simpson, according to court documents.

The investigator cross-referenced Simpson’s address with Bureau of Motor Vehicle records and discovered that Simpson had prior convictions for child molestation and child exploitation, according to the affidavit.

On June 5, Simpson arrived at the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office for a meeting about his sex offender status. The investigator interviewed Simpson, who admitted to possessing and viewing child pornography. He said he used his cell phone to search for the material through different apps; he had been doing it for more than a year, he said.

He said he was “trying to delete the child pornography from his phone after viewing it,” according to court documents. He told the investigator it had been about a week since he last searched for such records. He said he “watches child pornography, but does not physically touch children,” the affidavit states.

Simpson said he knew of the specific image that led to the tip and subsequent investigation. He also provided the investigator with his cell phone; a search of the camper where he lives revealed “no items of evidentiary value,” according to court documents.

Court records indicate Simpson had an initial hearing Friday. He is due in court in July, with his trial tentatively scheduled for November.