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Feds indict couple on charges of using child, 4, in pornographic images

A federal grand jury has indicted a Letcher County couple on charges of producing child pornography involving a four-year-old child.

Nicole S. Combs, 34, and Eric Banks, 46, will be arraigned May 25 in U.S. District Court in Pikeville.

The grand jury charged both with aiding and abetting, and exploitation of a child. A second count seeks forfeiture of all electronic equipment used in the commission of the crime, including a cellular phone that police have said was used to take images of sex acts the woman allegedly performed on the child.

The indictment says that the crimes began about September 2020 and continued through about April 3. It says the two “aided and abetted by each other, did employ, use persuade, induce, entice and coerce a minor, specifically an approximately four-year-old male, to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing visual depictions of such conduct.” It says the two knew or had reason to know that the images produced would be sent by mail or computer, or otherwise transported in interstate or foreign commerce.

If the two are convicted, the charges carry a penalty of 15 to 30 years in federal prison and more than $300,000 in fines and special assessment. The law also allows a judge to impose restitution on the persons convicted of not less than $3,000 per victim.

The couple were indicted in early April by a Letcher County grand jury.

That indictment charges Combs with first-degree sodomy, first-degree sexual abuse, and incest with a victim under the age of 12. Banks was charged with promoting a sexual performance by a minor.

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