A Shelby County Grand Jury indicted Melissa Anne Baluka, 40, on one count of soliciting sexual exploitation of a minor by electronic means and one count of sexual exploitation of a minor.
She is being held on $75,000 bond.
The boy from suburban Chicago was 16 when they met online in February of 2013, according to the FBI and other members of the Memphis Child Exploitation Task Force that also includes Homeland Security Investigations; Shelby County Sheriff's Department; Memphis Police Department; U.S. Postal Investigation Service; U.S. Marshals Service; and the U. S. Secret Service.
Investigators said Baluka exchanged sexually explicit photographs with the boy over the internet, including photographs from a sexual encounter they had in a motel when she traveled to Chicago in February of 2014.
The relationship was discovered in September of 2014 when the boy’s parents discovered thousands of text messages on his phone and an online account which chronicled the relationship.
The case is being handled by Asst. Dist. Atty. Jessica Banti of the DA’s Special Victims Unit (SVU) which prosecutes cases of child sexual abuse and severe physical abuse of child victims; rape and aggravated rape of adult victims, and abuse of elderly and vulnerable adults.
SVU reviews child-victim cases cooperatively with Shelby County’s multi-agency Child Protection Investigative Team.