A man and woman in Ohio have been indicted on child abuse charges after authorities say the man's probation officer found a video on his phone showing the woman holding and positioning a toddler for him to sexually abuse. Cousins Jason Fletcher, 40 and 25-year-old Ciera Richter were each charged with a count of conspiracy to produce child pornography and production of child pornography.

Court documents released stated that Fletcher had previously been convicted of importuning a minor and was on probation. When his probation officer visited in May 2017, the documents say according to the US Atttorney's Office for the Southern District of Ohio, the officer saw Fletcher had two mobile devices.

When the officer accessed the devices, pornography featuring a female minor was found and Fletcher was arrested. The video allegedly features Richter helping to "hold, entertain and position the toddler, while Fletcher records himself abusing the child".

According to the documents, Ritcher procured the child to make the videos and then sell them. She has been charged with one count of selling a child, the US Attorney's Office confirmed. The offence is punishable with 30 years up to life imprisonment.

"The indictment alleges that Richter provided the toddler to Fletcher with the knowledge that as a consequence of the transfer, the two-year-old would be portrayed in child pornography," US attorney Benjamin C. Glassman said. "Offences like those alleged here are among the most heinous, and most important, that we prosecute. We take seriously our duty and responsibility to keep children safe from those who would prey upon them."

"Child pornography is the permanent record of a child being sexually exploited, and this victimisation continues every time that image is transmitted, downloaded, shared or viewed," Steve Francis, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for Michigan and Ohio explained. "HSI special agents take special pride in their role of seeking justice on behalf of those who have been sexually exploited and victimised," he added.