DATE: Tuesday, December 11, 2018
SUBJECT: Sheriff’s Office Arrests Evansville Man Attempting to Solicit Sex from Juvenile
RELEASE NUMBER: 2018-NR-067
CONTACT: Lt. Mark Rasure
AUTHORITY: Sheriff Dave Wedding
The Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office has arrested an Evansville man in the attempted online solicitation of a 16-year-old juvenile for sex in exchange for money. Mr. Zachary Mueller was arrested yesterday evening on a felony charge of Promoting Prostitution.
In late October, the parents of a 16-year-old reported that an acquaintance of their child had contacted the juvenile via the Facebook messenger app and offered to pay the juvenile money in exchange for sex. Following the report, the Sheriff’s Office conducted an investigation which included securing court orders for the social media service to provide records and subscriber information. After an investigation, the identity of the suspect was confirmed as Mr. Zachary Mueller.
During an interview with detectives Mr. Mueller disclosed that he has propositioned sex to multiple people via the internet, including the juvenile victim. Mr. Muller explained that he solicited this particular juvenile in part due to a grudge against the victim’s family. He also told a Sheriff’s Office detective that he had a problem and needed help.
Mr. Mueller was arrested and lodged at the Vanderburgh County Jail where he will be held without bond pending an initial court appearance. The investigation is continuing and should additional victims be identified, further charges could be filed.
Sheriff Dave Wedding strongly urges parents to closely monitor the online activity of their children as well as educate their children on how to be on guard when online.
For useful resources on internet safety for youths please check out this online article from the Goodwill Community Foundation and this fact sheet from the University of New Hampshire Crimes Against Children Research Center.
Arrested: Zachary Teipe Mueller, 20, of Evansville
Charge: Promoting Prostitution Level 4 Felony
Presumption of Innocence Notice: The fact that a person has been arrested or charged with a crime is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.