Bloomington man accused of trying to create nude modeling scheme for minors

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (IUSTV News) — A Bloomington man was arrested and charged after investigators reportedly found files containing child porn on his electronic devices and recovered social media conversations that detailed efforts to create a nude modeling scheme for minors.

Police arrested Dustin Shertzer, 38, on Friday. He is currently charged with child exploitation, and possession of child pornography, both Level 5 felonies.

According to court documents, the investigation began on March 14 when detectives with the Bloomington Police Department received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), alerting to an account on the platform Kik that possibly contained and distributed child porn. Kik shut down the account because of the activity on the platform.

Investigators linked Shertzer to the account by using an IP address and by comparing “selfies” on the account to the photo on Shertzer’s driver’s license.

Court documents say that the account was noted as “a photographer based out of Indiana,” particularly south of Indianapolis, and “near IU.” Additionally, investigators reported that the account offered to “fly in or meet up with minors,” to model either clothed or nude.

In one of the recovered online chats, Shertzer reportedly communicated with a woman who said she has three daughters, aged one, five, and nine. Additionally, the woman allegedly asked Shertzer if he has buyers for child porn and Shertzer allegedly replied that it is “harder to sell in the U.S.”

In other conversations, court documents say Shertzer admitted to being involved with kids as young as 9-years-old. Investigators say that Shertzer repeatedly communicated with people on the platform that were under the age of 18, including one as young as 14.

Detectives located Shertzer on April 4 while he was driving on Old State Road 37 and Fairfax Road, and conducted a traffic stop. Court documents say that Shertzer admitted to using the social media platform, Kik, and that he had child porn of kids younger than 12-years-old, but said he never actually touched or met up with a child.

Court documents say that Shertzer confessed to trying to start the nude modeling scheme for “financial gain.”

Online court records show Shertzer posted bail and agreed to appear at an upcoming initial hearing on Friday. If convicted, he could face between 2 to 8 years for each of the two level 5 felonies, according to Indiana Sentencing Guidelines.

The ICAC Task Force is a multi-agency task force that investigates and prosecutes online child sex crimes, according to its website.

In 2023, there were more than 16-thousand cyber tips submitted, up from 14-thousand the year before, according to statistics provided by the task force. In 2019, which was the first year included in the statistics, there were a total of 4-thousand reports.

Anyone with information on exploitation, solicitation, and enticement-type crimes against children are encouraged to submit a tip to NCMEC.