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BLOOMINGTON, Ind.–A Monroe County husband and wife will spend time in federal prison for secually abusing and exploiting five children, and moving to five different states to avoid the children being taken away. Their attempt to avoid the law ended when they moved to Indiana in 2018.

Matthew Cole, 31, was sentenced to over 41 years in prison and his wife, Dolores Cole, 41, was sentenced to 15 years. All of the children were rescued as a result of the investigation.

In 2014 the Coles were living in Arizona when a child protection agency got the first report that the children were being abused. That’s when the couple took the children to Iowa, Texas, Oklahoma and finally Indiana, where a search warrant was conducted at their home in Monroe County.

Five of the couple’s six children had been sexually abused, according to the investigation by Indiana authorities. Matthew Cole had also used one of the children to produce child pornography.

Mathew Cole pleaded guilty to conspiracy to transport minors across state lines with the intent to engage in a criminal sexual activity, sexual exploitation of a child, and witness tampering. Dolores Cole pled guilty to being an accessory after the fact to sexual exploitation of a child, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice.

“The pain and damage inflicted on these children at the hands of adults they trusted is unimaginable,” said U.S. Attorney Zachary A. Myers. “No sentence of imprisonment will undo what these victims have suffered, but the serious consequences imposed for these heinous offenses demonstrate that those who sexually exploit vulnerable children will be held accountable for their reprehensible actions.”

“To prey on children in your care and harm them in such a heinous way is reprehensible and beyond comprehension,” said FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan. “Their sentences should serve as a strong reminder that the FBI and our law enforcement partners are committed to identifying and holding accountable those who victimize innocent children to ensure they can never again inflict such abuse.”

The FBI, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, and the Indiana Department of Children’s Services all joined in the investigation.