Noblesville man sentenced to life for child exploitation

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — A man convicted after an investigation into child sex tourism was sentenced to life in prison Thursday.

The conviction comes after federal officials opened an investigation in 2015 into Charles Skaggs Jr. for child sex tourism in Ukraine, including his work with orphanages there. During the investigation, Skaggs was searched at U.S. customs, where officers recovered thumb drives that contained child pornography. Some of the child pornography was produced by Skaggs in Indiana.

FBI agents arrested Skaggs and took him to the Henderson County Detention Center for pretrial detention. During his time there, officers intercepted a note by Skagtgs disclosing the location of a hard drive Skaggs hid before his arrest. That hard drive contained child pornography among other things.

Skaggs was convicted of nine counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, two counts of possession of child pornography, and one count of concealment of evidence.

“Children are among the most vulnerable in our society and it is our collective responsibility to protect them from predators such as Mr. Skaggs. His life sentence should send a clear message to those who engage in this conduct – you will be investigated, identified, and prosecuted – and you will go to prison,” said Special Agent in Charge Grant Mendenhall, FBI Indianapolis.

The prosecutor in the case said Skaggs must also serve 5 years of supervised release following his sentence.

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