Indianapolis man sentenced to 40 years in federal prison for child sex abuse

A thrice-convicted Indiana sex offender has been sentenced to four decades in federal prison for child sexual exploitation and creating and trafficking videos of child sexual abuse, the U.S. Department of Justice has announced.

Indianapolis resident Charles Piel, 24, was sentenced last week to 40 years in for sexually exploiting a Michigan teen and trafficking in child sexual abuse images and videos. Piel was previously convicted in state court of sexually abusing children and possessing images of child sexual abuse, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana.

According to the U.S. Attorneys Office, investigators in 2020 discovered that Piel had been sending and receiving images and videos of child sexual abuse online, including sending such material to a minor child in Florida in 2019.

Following his arrest, investigators found on Piel’s electronic devices and online accounts additional sexually explicit communications with a child in Michigan. The investigation showed that in September 2020, Piel traveled there to engage in sexual conduct with the child and made recordings of the conduct.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Piel continued to communicate with the child and eventually created additional recordings of the child engaged in sexually explicit conduct over videoconferencing. He maintained all these recordings, along with a larger collection of child sexual abuse images and videos, until his arrest in October 2020.

Piel had already been twice convicted in state court of child sexual abuse offenses stemming from incidents in 2017 and 2018. First, he was convicted and sentenced to a term of probation in Hendricks County for sexual battery stemming from sexual contact with two minor boys.

While on probation, Piel was convicted in Marion County of possession of child pornography. He was initially placed on home detention but was transferred to jail after violating the terms of his placement.

After his release from jail, he began the sexually explicit communications with the minor in Florida.

“Charles Piel is a habitual child predator who made a career out of sexually abusing and exploiting children,” Indiana Southern District U.S. Attorney Zachary A. Myers said in a news release. “I commend the work of the investigators and prosecutors who have taken this child predator out of our community and helped to bring justice to his young victims. This case is yet another example of the outstanding work of Indiana’s nationally-renowned Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.”

Piel must pay $20,000 in restitution and will be federally supervised for a life term following his release from prison.

The case against Piel was investigated by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and the United States Secret Service. Assistant United States Attorney Kristina M. Korobov prosecuted the case, which was brought as part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood initiative.

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