Indiana State Police have arrested a Shelbyville man who, according to investigators, is currently the most prolific disseminator of child pornography in the Hoosier state.
During a nearly four-month period, State Police detectives said 68-year-old Michael Dean Sermersheim downloaded more than 9,000 child porn media files.
The child victims in the photos and videos range in age from infancy to 17 years old, and police said the files depict the fully nude minors being sexually abused, molested and engaging in sex acts, acts of sexual bondage and beastiality.
On Tuesday, Sermersheim was taken into custody after State Police obtained a search warrant for his address.
He has been charged with 27 counts of child exploitation and 27 counts of possession of child pornography.
Indiana State Police first became aware of Sermersheim in March, when a State Police detective noticed an extremely large number of child porn photos and videos being shared from an address in the 500 block of Third Street in Shelbyville.
State Police began monitoring Sermersheim on March 25, a probable cause affidavit states, and found that he had disseminated child pornography from his address 27 days over the next four months.
In April, investigators said Sermersheim downloaded “The Jenny Series,” a package of nine videos and 25 photos that shows a mentally handicapped child named “Jenny” being sexually abused and also engaging in sexual bondage and beastiality.
“Jenny” is said to have been between 7-8 years old at the time of the filming.
In June, Sermersheim was documented downloading “The Vicky Series,” another collection of child porn known to investigators. Police said the series includes photos and videos of a child named Vicki being molested and sexually abused around the age of 10.
Vicky, who police said is now an adult, has written victim letters in federal child pornography cases describing how she feels re-victimized each time the videos are shared, disseminated or downloaded, according to court documents.
When State Police showed up at Sermersheim’s house on Tuesday, he said he had no involvement in child porn, court documents state. But after a while, police said he confessed, and said that he had downloaded the images and videos, left them up long enough for others to download, and then deleted them.
If Sermersheim is convicted, he could face up to 162 years in prison, Shelbyville Prosecutor Brad Landwerlen said in an emailed statement.
Sermersheim is being held in the Shelbyville Jail.