Rush County deputy, fireman charged with child sex crimes

Crime Watch 8

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An Indiana deputy who also served as a fireman has been charged with sexual exploitation of a child and distributing and possessing child pornography, officials said Thursday.

According to United States Attorney Josh Minkler, Philip Harr, 29, of Rushville, allegedly engaged in the criminal conduct while on duty as a Rush County Special Sheriff’s Deputy and a Rushville fireman.

He was also employed as a courtroom security officer and dispatcher by the Rush County Government.

Harr had his initial appearance in the United States District Court on Thursday.

“Public officials are entrusted to perform their work duties and to serve the community without committing criminal conduct on the job,” said Minkler. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to identifying and prosecuting individuals who utilize social media and other vehicles to exploit innocent children.”   

According to allegations against Harr, he posed as a teenage girl on a social media application to solicit images and videos depicting at least two minor victims. The alleged victims were from Indiana and Mississippi.

Officials say Harr used the same application to distribute, receive and possess images and videos of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

“Our department would like to thank everyone involved in this investigation,” said a spokesperson for the Rush County Sheriff’s Department. “Officers worked tirelessly to bring charges against Mr. Harr and seek justice for his victims.” 

Prosecutors say Harr faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison for his alleged crimes.

If you believe you have been a victim of Philip Michael Harr, you are asked to contact the Indianapolis FBI Office at https://tips.fbi.gov/ or call 317-595-4000 to make a report.

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