CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A woman arrested in January 2017 in connection with a disturbing child sex crimes investigation out of Rowan County has now been indicted on federal charges.
April Pitchford, 28, was arrested by Mint Hill Police on January 11, 2017, and charged with two counts of indecent liberties with a child, two counts each of first and second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, and secret peeping. She is now facing several other federal charges.
According to the bill of indictment filed on April 19, Pitchford "did employ, use, persuade, induce, entice, and coerce any minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing any visual depiction of such conduct..." The document states the alleged incidents occurred on October 18 and 19 in 2016.
**WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT**
After her arrest in 2017, Rowan County investigators said Pitchford was associated with Joshua Martorelli and Wendy Kasper. Martorelli and Kasper were both charged a week before Pitchford with sex crimes involving children, and in Kasper's case, allegedly having sex with a dog.
Martorelli, 33, turned himself in to investigators at the Rowan Magistrate's Office on January 10. He was charged with possessing photographic images from secret peeping, and two counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.
Three days earlier, deputies arrested Wendy Arlene Kasper, 36, of Salisbury. They said Kasper engaged in sexual acts with a dog on numerous occasions and had committed the felony of secretly video recording a child in a bathroom for the purpose of sexual gratification.
The investigation indicated that Kasper and Martorelli were involved in the dissemination of child pornography.
Martorelli, also from Salisbury, was possibly involved in a larger child pornography group that is still under investigation, detectives said in 2017.
Pitchford is still listed as an active inmate at the Mecklenburg County Jail.