Eastern Iowa Woman Facing Federal Child Pornography Charge
An east-central Iowa woman has had state charges dropped after the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Iowa filed federal charges against her.
According to the Muscatine Journal, 33-year-old Jessica R. Peters of Muscatine had been accused of not only sexually abusing an 8-year-old but also selling video of the incident across state lines. The charges were dropped only after federal charges were brought against Peters.
Court documents say a child told police that videos were taken at a hotel and in a Muscatine apartment where they resided and that "their father forced them to do the videos while they were "fake child molested" by Peters. The child also told police that sometimes videos were taken by Peters when no one else was in the room with them while at other times their dad would record the videos on a phone.
According to court documents obtained by the Muscatine Journal, the father of the child told police that he believed Peters was sexually abusing the child. He also told authorities that Peters had come to him with the request for an illegal video from an Indiana man. The father said he wouldn't be part of it before finding more than one video on the phone that he and Peters shared. It was discovered that Peters sent both photos and videos to Henry Winchip, the Indiana man.
Winchip was arrested and charged with felony charges of possession of child pornography as well as child exploitation. Both are felonies. After a search warrant was issued on the home of the 76-year-old Winchip, he told law enforcement that he had paid Peters for sexual videos for "years". He told police he'd known Peters for approximately 15 years.
Along with new federal charges, Peters still faces trial on two different state charges. They are second-degree sexual abuse and incest. The two are Class B and Class D felonies, respectively. The pretrial hearing on those charges is Friday, December 3.
Peters remains in custody at the Muscatine County Jail. She claims she is not related to the child. The child's father has not been charged.