MOORHEAD – Two junior hockey players are charged with creating and disseminating child pornography after allegedly videotaping sex with a 15-year-old girl at a motel here after a game in February, then sending the video around to other people.
Thomas Ryan Carey, of Moorhead, and Brandon Nicholas Smith, of Nebraska, both 19, were charged Monday in Clay County District Court with one count of use of a minor in a sexual performance, one count of possession and one count of dissemination of child pornography, all felonies.
According to charges filed against the men, both of whom are players with the Lincoln Stars junior hockey team, the girl reported to her mother she had sex with Carey at the Days Inn in Moorhead on Feb. 14 after a hockey game his team played in Fargo against the Fargo Force.
She met Carey, a former Moorhead High School hockey player, on Facebook about a week before the game, court documents say, and went to the hotel with Carey and a female friend and some other Stars players.
The girl told a Moorhead police detective on Feb. 28 that she was videotaped having sex with Carey and discovered afterward that it was being sent around when she began to receive messages from other hockey players and girls, who contacted her saying, “Nice video.”
She then contacted Smith, she told the detective, asking if there were any media circulating of her and Carey, and telling him to send her any videos or images, and to then delete them.
Smith was in the room with them, the girl reported, and she believed he was the one who made the videotape.
Smith told her the video was on Carey’s phone, the girl reported.
She told the detective that Carey sent her the videotape of the two of them having sex.
The detective reportedly found a screen shot of the video of her and Carey on her cellphone, as well as a sexually explicit nude photo of the girl and a male body part.
Court documents say the detective interviewed both men in Nebraska, where Carey told him both men had sex with the girl.
Smith videotaped Carey and the girl having sex, Carey told the detective, and the girl had said it was OK.
Carey said Smith sent him the video.
He at first denied sending the video on to anyone else, then allegedly admitted he’d sent it to a Moorhead High School student.
Smith denied sending the video to anyone other than Carey and the victim, and said Carey took the video.
The detective also spoke with the victim’s friend, who had gone with her to the hotel the night of the game, and who told the detective she had received the video of Carey and the victim but wasn’t sure who sent it to her.
She also told the detective that another person, a hockey player in Pennsylvania, received an image of Smith engaged in a sexual act with the victim, and told her the photo was “going around.”
In a statement, Carey’s defense attorney, Jade Rosenfeldt, said her client plans to defend against the charges vigorously and would continue his efforts to have the case dismissed.
“We are very disappointed with the charging decision made by the Clay County Attorney’s Office,” Rosenfeldt said.
“This is not the type of case for which the child pornography statutes were intended, and as more information comes to light, it will be apparent that this is a case involving consensual behavior and consent to photos and videos being involved,” she said.
A statement on the Lincoln Stars’ website said both players had been suspended throughout the case’s investigation for violating the U.S. Hockey League Code of Conduct, and that their suspension continued.
The men’s status in the USHL would be determined once the legal process is concluded, the statement says.
Carey and Smith are expected to make their first court appearance July 10.