Indiana man charged with child molestation, accused of posing as wrestler online

Man accused of posing as wrestler online to solicit children

SCOTTSBURG, Ind. (WAVE) - Police arrested a man accused of soliciting a minor after a father saw a concerning message on his child’s Facebook. Investigators are urging other parents to check their children’s social media accounts in case they were also victims of the same suspect.

Tuesday night, a father noticed Facebook messages between his 13-year-old child and the suspect. Pretending to be his child, the father wrote to the man and arranged to meet at the family’s rural Scott County home.

Authorities says Brandon Ruff posed on Facebook as a wrestler to get children to trust him. (Source: Scott County Sheriff's Office)
Authorities says Brandon Ruff posed on Facebook as a wrestler to get children to trust him. (Source: Scott County Sheriff's Office)

Brandon Ruff, 29, of Jeffersonville, showed up to the house and was held by the child’s father until police arrived.

“He knows a lot of children are into wrestling, so they strike up a conversation about wrestling, make arrangements to meet, to talk about wrestling, to show wrestling moves or whatever it could be and the next thing we know, we’ve got a child who is harmed,” Sheriff Jerry Goodin said.

Ruff had another Facebook page under the name Sammy Castro, police said.

Scott County officers investigated to find Ruff and the child made previous arrangements to meet.

Police arrested Ruff and charged him with false informing, child solicitation and child molestation with a child under 14 years old using a computer, and traveling to the child, according to the Scott County Sheriff’s Office.

Scott County Sheriff Jerry Goodin (Source: Sara Rivest, WAVE 3 News
Scott County Sheriff Jerry Goodin (Source: Sara Rivest, WAVE 3 News

Officers urge parents to check their children’s Facebook messages because they are looking into the possibility of other victims.

“Thirty years ago we had the predators who went to the playgrounds and offered kids candy or helping them locate a lost pet,” Goodin said. “It’s a little different in today’s world because the playground is the internet.”

Any parents who think their children were victimized by Ruff should call 812-752-8400 if they live in Scott County, or contact Indiana State Police at 812-246-5424 if they live outside Scott County.

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