Carmel man sentenced for sexually exploiting teen


A Carmel man has been sentenced to nearly 23 years in prison followed by 20 years of supervised release after pleading guilty to distribution of visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct and possession of child sexual abuse material. 

Thomas Cade Martin, 27, also admitted to sexually exploiting a minor victim in Carmel. He was ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution and must register as a sex offender.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, in late 2022 Carmel Police Department officers received a report of sexual exploitation of a male minor victim. The report found that Martin asked a 15-year-old male to meet in-person after being introduced through Grindr, an online dating application. Martin continued conversations with the teen through Instagram and Snapchat, initially lying about his identity and age to groom the victim.

Over the course of three weeks, Martin met the teen on multiple occasions at his Carmel apartment and other public locations to engage in sexual intercourse. Martin also engaged in grooming behaviors, such as purchasing clothes and dinners for the victim and buying the child a birthday cake when he turned 16.

A search of Martin’s cellphone recovered multiple sexually explicit live photos produced by Martin of the victim, as well as other images taken of the two together at local restaurants and public meeting spots in Carmel.

“Martin sexually abused and exploited a 15-year-old boy, having gained his adoration and trust online. Taking advantage of vulnerable teens for sexual gain is a despicable crime that merits significant prison time,” said Zachary A. Myers, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. 

The FBI and Carmel Police Department investigated the case. U.S. District Court Judge James P. Hanlon imposed the sentence.