Ky. man federally charged after video shows him allegedly sodomizing infant

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A federal grand jury has indicted a Grayson County man on several child pornography charges months after police say video of him sodomizing a 10-month-old was discovered on his phone last December.

Last year, 36-year-old James Armes was indicted by a Grayson County grand jury on three counts of first-degree sexual abuse and two counts of first-degree sodomy.

But investigators felt the alleged crimes also violated federal law, and the case was turned over to federal authorities. On May 9, Armes was indicted on several federal charges, including multiple counts of production of child pornography, distribution of child pornography and possession of child pornography, according to a news release from the Grayson County Sheriff's Office.

He faces up to 400 years in prison if found guilty on each count. Additionally, he faces up to 40 years to life for the Grayson County indictments.

Grayson County Sheriff Norman Chaffins calls this "a very difficult case" for officers to investigate, simply because, "whoever works this case must view the images on whatever device they used for child pornography."

"Our satisfaction comes from when this guy never sees the light of day, when he gets put behind bars," Sheriff Chaffins said. "This particular case is an unusual case because it's literally him on the video, on these images, abusing this baby, and that's very difficult, especially for a young deputy to have to watch. So it does make it difficult, but like I said, because he's never going to see the light of day, we're satisfied with that. But it doesn't change the fact that this child was abused."

Chaffins says he has his own ideas for what Armes deserves -- and he is open about them.

"Kentucky has a death penalty," he said. "Someone like that, who abuses a child, I believe, gives up their rights as a human being -- to do what he did to that baby. I believe once you give up those rights as a human being, the death penalty is a just punishment."

Legally, the death penalty is not an option in this case.

It started in December, when, according to the Grayson County Sheriff's Office, Deputy Rance Whobrey was given information on the whereabouts of a suspect wanted out of Cumberland County on outstanding misdemeanor warrants. 

Whobrey also obtained information showing "disturbing images" of the suspect sodomizing and sexually abusing an infant female child, according to police. 

Just after 12 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 3, Whobrey and two Kentucky State Police troopers served an arrest warrant on the suspect, Armes, at a home on Church Street in Millwood, Kentucky.

Once inside the home, police said Armes refused to comply with officers' commands to place his hands behind his back. Officers wrestled Armes to the ground, where police said he would not show his right hand and reached for his waistband.

Armes was placed into custody without further incident and charged with menacing and resisting arrest by Kentucky State Police.

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