Cuyahoga County

Six Individuals Indicted This Week on Child Exploitation Charges for Separate Incidents

1/11/2023

 

CLEVELAND - Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley announced that a Cuyahoga County grand jury has returned an indictment charging Abijah Cummings-Byrd, 20, Christopher West, 34, James Dvorak, 36, Matthew Hammad, 23, Carson Rauch, 24, and Kennith Hyatt, 23, for child exploitation charges.

“I am incredibly proud of our Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies that we work with,” said Prosecutor O’Malley. “The vile exploitation of our children will never be tolerated in our county.”

Abijah Cummings-Byrd

From April 5, 2022, to November 2, 2022, Abijah Cummings-Byrd possessed child exploitation material. In response to a Cybertip from the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) a search warrant was executed by the Ohio ICAC Task Force with assistance from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations – Cleveland (HSI), the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), the Cleveland Division of Police (CPD), and the Parma Police Department at Cummings-Byrd's residence near West Pleasant Valley Road and York Road in Parma on November 7, 2022.

Investigators obtained child exploitation materials associated with Cummings-Byrd's account on a popular website application. Additional investigation revealed that child exploitation material was associated with Cummings-Byrd's devices, and he had been exchanging child exploitative material with other users.  

Abijah Cummings-Byrd was indicted on the following charges:

  • Seven counts of Pandering Sexually-Oriented Matter Involving a Minor
  • Eight counts of Illegal Use Of Minor In Nudity-Oriented Material or Performance
  • One count of Possessing Criminal Tools

You can view the indictment here.

Christopher West

From July 4, 2022, to November 10, 2022, Christopher West possessed child exploitation material. In response to a Cybertip from NCMEC a search warrant was executed by the Ohio ICAC Task Force with assistance from HSI – Cleveland, BCI, and the Garfield Heights Police Department at West’s residence near Oak Street and East 132nd Street in Garfield Heights on November 10, 2022.

Investigators obtained child exploitation materials associated with West’s account on a popular website application. Additional investigation revealed that child exploitation material was associated with West’s devices.

Christopher West was indicted on the following charges:

  • Four counts of Pandering Sexually-Oriented Matter Involving a Minor
  • Four counts of Illegal Use Of Minor In Nudity-Oriented Material or Performance
  • One count of Possessing Criminal Tools

You can view the indictment here.

James Dvorak

From March 15, 2022, to August 24, 2022, James Dvorak possessed child exploitation material. In response to a Cybertip from NCMEC a search warrant was executed by the Ohio ICAC Task Force with assistance from the Parma Police Department at Dvorak’s residence near Anita Drive and Huffman Road in Parma Heights on August 26, 2022.

Investigators obtained child exploitation materials associated with Dvorak’s account on a popular website application. Additional investigation revealed that child exploitation material was associated with Dvorak’s devices, and he had been exchanging child exploitative material with other users. 

James Dvorak was indicted on the following charges:

  • Three counts of Pandering Sexually-Oriented Matter Involving a Minor
  • Two counts of Illegal Use Of Minor In Nudity-Oriented Material or Performance
  • One count of Possessing Criminal Tools

You can view the indictment here.

Matthew Hammad

From February 16, 2021, to September 16, 2022, Matthew Hammad possessed child exploitation material. In response to a Cybertip from NCMEC a search warrant was executed by the Ohio ICAC Task Force with assistance from HSI – Cleveland, BCI, and the Lakewood Police Department at Hammad’s residence near Lincoln Avenue and Franklin Boulevard in Lakewood on September 16, 2022. 

Investigators obtained child exploitation materials associated with Hammad’s account on a popular website application. Additional investigation revealed that child exploitation material was associated with Hammad’s devices.

Matthew Hammad was indicted on the following charges:

  • Eight counts of Pandering Sexually-Oriented Matter Involving a Minor
  • Two counts of Illegal Use Of Minor In Nudity-Oriented Material or Performance
  • One count of Possessing Criminal Tools

You can view the indictment here.

Carson Rauch

From August 25, 2018, to August 15, 2022, Carson Rauch possessed child exploitation material. In response to a Cybertip from NCMEC a search warrant was executed by the Ohio ICAC Task Force with assistance from HSI – Cleveland, BCI, the U.S. Secret Service, Mayfield Heights Police Department, the Ohio Investigative Unit, and the Parma Heights Police Department at Rauch’s residence near Marsol Road and Parker Drive in Mayfield Heights on November 8, 2022.

Investigators obtained child exploitation materials associated with Rauch’s account on a popular website application. Additional investigation revealed that child exploitation material was associated with Rauch’s devices.

Carson Rauch was indicted on the following charges:

  • Thirteen counts of Pandering Sexually-Oriented Matter Involving a Minor
  • Seven counts of Illegal Use Of Minor In Nudity-Oriented Material or Performance
  • One count of Possessing Criminal Tools

You can view the indictment here.

Kennith Hyatt

From October 21, 2022, to December 13, 2022, Kennith Hyatt engaged in sexually explicit online conversations with undercover officers posing as children. Contact was initiated through popular social media applications. Hyatt expressed an interest in engaging in sexual activity with the purported child, disseminated images of their genitals, and offered to pay for sex during the online conversations.

Following the conversations, Hyatt traveled to a pre-arranged location to engage in sexual activity with the purported child on December 13, 2022. Upon arriving, they were arrested by the Ohio ICAC Task Force with assistance from the Newburgh Heights Police Department and transported to the Cuyahoga County Jail.

Kennith Hyatt was indicted on the following charges:

  • One count of Attempted Unlawful Sexual Conduct With A Minor
  • One count of Disseminating Matter Harmful To Juveniles
  • Two counts of Importuning
  • One count of Possessing Criminal Tools

You can view the indictment here.

 

*Ohio ICAC Task Force:
The Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force is run under the direction of the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office and funded in part by a grant from the Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. The task force conducts proactive and reactive investigations dealing with the online exploitation of children, provides training and technical assistance to more than 380 local, state, and federal criminal justice affiliated agencies throughout the state of Ohio, and conducts over 200 internet safety presentations to schools and community groups throughout the year.