Who Is The Habitual Child Offender?

A man from Indianapolis has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for sexually exploiting a teenager in Michigan and trafficking in child sexual abuse images and videos.

In 2020, Charles Piel had been sending and receiving images and videos of child sexual abuse over the internet, according to investigators.

Detectives also found that Piel, 24, had been sending the pornographic material to a minor in Florida in 2019.

After he was arrested, investigators examined Piel's electronic devices and online accounts and found more sexually explicit communications with a child in Michigan.

Investigators found that Piel traveled to Michigan in September 2020, and engaged in sexual conduct with the child and that Piel made recordings of the incident. Furthermore, detectives found that Piel continued to communicate with the child and created additional recordings of the child engaged in sexually explicit conduct over video conferencing.

During the time Piel committed these crimes, he had already been convicted of child sexual abuse offenses, twice.

In 2017, Piel had been convicted of sexual battery for his sexual contact with two underaged boys. Piel was sentenced to a term of probation.

In 2018, while he was on probation, Piel was convicted of possession of child pornography. He was placed on community corrections home detention, which he violated. As a result, Piel was put in jail.

When he was released, Piel began sexually explicit communications with the minor in Florida. This led to his federal prosecution.

According to U.S. Attorney Zachary A. Meyers, "Charles Piel is a habitual child predator who made a career out of sexually abusing and exploiting children." He also commended the work of the investigators and prosecutors who helped take "the child predator out of [the] community and helped to bring justice to his young victims." Piel had been ordered to pay $20,000 in restitution and will be federally supervised for a life term following his release from prison. DOJ, U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Indiana "Twice-Convicted Sex Offender Sentenced to 40 Years for Creating and Trafficking in Images and Videos of Child Sexual Abuse" https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdin/pr/twice-convicted-sex-offender-sentenced-40-years-creating-and-trafficking-images-and (Nov. 24, 2021).

Commentary and Checklist

There are approximately 750,000 registered sex offenders in the United States. Of this total, there are approximately 250,000 convicted sex offenders under criminal justice supervision in the community.

A habitual sex offender is a type of offender who has been convicted or has pleaded guilty to a sexual offense and has a prior sexual charge for which he/she has been convicted or has pled guilty.

A habitual sex offender has to check in with law enforcement every year for 20 years.

The Internet provides a forum for habitual sex offenders to target children repeatedly and often without disclosure of the offender’s identity or age.  For this reason, safe adults should know these steps:

  • If a child tells you that they are the victim of cyberstalking, document all communication between the child and the alleged stalker.
  • Documentation can include all emails, postings, or other communications including log files from IM and chat clients in both electronic and hardcopy format that are not altered or edited in any way." ?
  • Share these immediately with law enforcement. ?
  • Remove the child from the online communication forum pending investigation. If possible, block the individual so that they cannot send additional communication to the child.?
  • If the online interactions include sexually suggestive images or videos of the target, then child pornography is also occurring. Contact law enforcement right away and do not download or share the images. Report incidents involving the possession, distribution, receipt, or production of child pornography to the National Center for Missing & Exploited children at www.cybertipline.com or call 1-800-843-5678. The line is monitored 24-7. Your report will be investigated.
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