A Lafayette (Indiana) woman is accused of deliberately posting a nude photo of her teenage daughter on the girl’s Facebook page. Her face, breasts and genitals were clearly visible, investigators said.
The mother, 50-year-old Lynda A. Rusk, was charged Wednesday in Tippecanoe Circuit Court with child exploitation, a Class C felony, and possession of child pornography, a Class D felony. A warrant has been issued for Rusk’s arrest.
Rusk could not be reached for comment. On Wednesday afternoon, no one answered a published home telephone number in Lafayette for a Lynda Rusk.
The accusations against her stem from an incident that happened a year ago, on Nov. 8, 2011. It took a year to bring charges because of time required to subpoena Facebook and Rusk and her daughter’s cellphone provider, along with time needed to review the paperwork and evidence, according to Detective Mark Pinkard of the Lafayette Police Department.
“We wanted to make sure to do everything we could for this young lady,” Pinkard said of the victim, who is underage. “A major concern was, you never know who saw the photo. Anyone could have saved it or took a screenshot.
“Once something is posted online, it’s out there forever.”
Due to that, Lafayette police contacted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for assistance. Investigators thus far have not found the photo posted elsewhere, Pinkard said. The investigation began on Nov. 8, 2011, when the girl’s teacher contacted police over concerns of her well-being. The girl had been staying with her grandparents since Nov. 1, 2011. But on the morning of Nov. 8, Rusk removed her from school. No one had heard from the girl since, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Though the photo itself was taken by Rusk’s daughter, using an Apple iPhone, Rusk allegedly had possession of the cellphone when the picture was uploaded to Facebook, Pinkard said.
Information provided by Facebook and the cellphone provider helped to build a timeline and the case against Rusk, Pinkard said.