Wheelersburg man gets 40 years in prison for sex crimes
Mar. 18—Porter traded drugs to parents for sex with children
Editor's note: This article contains descriptions of sexual crimes committed against children and reader discretion is advised.
A 72-year-old Wheelersburg man has been sentenced to 40 years in prison on Tuesday, which Scioto Prosecutor Shane Tieman called a "good sentence" and said that the United States Attorney's Office did a good job of prosecuting the case that involved the defendant trading drugs for sex with children and then making video recordings of the acts.
"With Mr. Porter's age, it is effectively a life sentence," Tieman said, adding that he was glad to see justice done and he thought the sentence would "provide some closure to the victims in this matter. I am happy to see that sentence come out."
Larry Dean Porter pleaded guilty on Aug. 10, 2022, to conspiring to engage in sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion, child sex trafficking and participating in a drug trafficking conspiracy.
Porter was also ordered to pay more than $300,000 in restitution to the victims.
"There are just so many levels of horrible to this case," Tieman said. "And our local authorities worked very hard with the U.S. attorneys to see this case successfully prosecuted."
According to press releases from the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, agents with the FBI's Child Exploitation Task Force began investigating Porter in April 2019 following reports from several sources that Porter was involved in sexually abusing male and female minors with the consent of the minors' parents in exchange for illegal drugs from Porter.
In March 2020, Porter was arrested by the Jackson County Sheriff's Department at the McDonalds in Oak Hill on local charges coordinated by law enforcement.
Porter allegedly offered to pay $80 in exchange for access to a 7-year-old girl.
He was arrested after arriving at a pre-arranged meeting location and allegedly stating he would "be done around midnight" and could return the girl then.
The FBI and the Scioto County Sheriff's Office searched Porter's Wheelersburg home.
A federal grand jury originally indicted Porter and several of his family members and associates in June 2020.
According to victims and sources in the ongoing investigation by the FBI and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations, Porter sexually abused children and produced child pornography kept on flash drives that Porter used extreme methods to conceal.
The United States Attorney's office said that Porter exchanged drugs obtained in Columbus and elsewhere for sexual access to the children of drug-addicted parents and guardians.
Porter sexually abused multiple children and produced child pornography that he kept on flash drives and used extreme methods to conceal, including by burying the flash drives in the yard surrounding his house.
The United States Attorney's office said that in addition to sexually assaulting the children himself, Porter also instructed drug-addicted parents to sexually abuse children and recorded it to use as blackmail.
Porter also used other methods of force, such as duct taping and tying women to chairs, burning them with cigarettes and firing guns by their ears, to ensure they continued to comply with his various sexual demands and remained silent about his crimes.
"Larry Dean Porter is a predator who manipulated and abused children and drug-addicted women in southern Ohio for many years. He used force, violence and threats to coerce these vulnerable victims to engage in sex acts with him," said U.S. Attorney Kenneth L. Parker. "Though no sentence can undo the indescribable, despicable harm he caused, it is fitting that he will spend the rest of his life where he belongs — in a federal prison."
The United States Attorney's office said Porter's manipulation and sexual assaults of women and children took place several times a week for years.
For example, several of Porter's co-conspirators took three children under the age of 10 to Porter's residence on a regular basis to traffic the children sexually in exchange for pills.
The abuse occurred a few times per week for up to five years.
After Porter was arrested locally, his friends and relatives — including two of his daughters and one of his cousins — attempted to destroy evidence and intimidate witnesses on Porter's behalf.
For example, family and friends dug holes in the ground on Porter's property to retrieve and attempt to conceal or destroy SD cards containing child pornography that had been buried in Porter's yard.
Agents also found eight DVDs containing child pornography linked to Porter's home computer at the house of one of Porter's friends.
Porter's cousin discussed in jail calls with Porter their plans to assault and potentially kill a witness they believed was a source for law enforcement.
Tieman said several of those cases were prosecuted in Scioto County and that they worked to make sure the defendants testified against Porter, "who was the most horrible of all of them. We wanted to make sure he got prosecuted to the fullest. Mission accomplished."
Co-defendants sentenced to date include Joshua D. Aldridge (324 months in prison), Charity Rawlins (210 months in prison), Frank E. Andrews (121 months in prison), Ronnie L. Rawlins (63 months in prison), Jonathan David Flagg (60 months in prison), Ralph Albert Aldridge (48 months in prison), Crystal D. Porter (30 months in prison), Denna Sue Porter (three months in prison), and Erroll Wayne Porter (six months of home detention).