***WARNING: This story contains graphic content not suitable for all readers***
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A man accused of playing a role in a child sex trafficking and blackmail scheme will spend four years in Allen County Community Corrections with an electronic monitoring device.
Caleb Thompson, 24, avoided prison at his sentencing on one felony count of corrupt business influence in Allen Superior Court on Friday.
As part of a plea agreement he previously made with Allen County prosecutors, felony counts of promoting child sex trafficking, promoting prostitution and intimidation filed against him were dropped.
Thompson and his mother, Brooke Thompson, along with a man identified as Ridge M. Borne were all accused of playing a part in a scheme where they set up sexual encounters between a 16-year-old girl and a man only to blackmail the man afterward.
Throughout parts of 2019 and 2020, Caleb Thompson and Borne had been accused of transporting a 16-year-old girl selected by Brooke Thompson to meet-ups with various men made online through the website skipthegames.com.
The men would pay to have sex with the girl, according to court documents.
Brooke Thompson was accused of threatening one of those men.
She told the man she’d put up fliers and contact the man’s business associates and tell them about his encounter with the girl if he did not pay her extra money, according to court documents.
The man then met Caleb Thompson at Kroger three or four times between April 3 and April 11, 2020 and first handed over about $3,000 and then $1,000 at the next couple of meetings.
Each payment “was preceded by threats to put up fliers in his neighborhood or contact his family and business about the allegations,” a probable cause affidavit said.
The man contacted Fort Wayne Police Department’s Vice & Narcotics unit and officers helped him send a text message to Caleb Thompson asking him how much money he needed to make the false allegations stop.
Brooke Thompson responded for her son, first demanding $4,000, then $5,000 and then $6,000, court documents say.
Eventually, Brooke and Caleb Thompson and Borne were all arrested.
Brooke Thompson was sentenced to seven years in prison earlier this month for her role in the scheme while Borne – who, like Caeleb Thompson, pleaded guilty to a count of corrupt business influence – received a six-year prison sentence.
Caleb Thompson’s was given a 6-year sentence to community corrections Friday, but an Allen Superior Court judge suspended two of those years.
Previously, his family argued that Thompson is epileptic and is disabled, and they were hoping he’d be able to serve his time in a community corrections program.
He was also ordered to have no contact with the girl he’d been accused of trafficking and undergo psychological and mental health evaluations as well as treatment, according to court records.