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UPDATED: Arlington Man Admits to Child Porn, Sex Crimes

by Ethan Rothstein January 16, 2015 at 2:45 pm 6,128 0

Gavel (Flickr photo by Joe Gratz)(Updated at 4:00 p.m.) A 29-year-old Arlington man pleaded guilty in federal court today to producing child porn, and admitted to engaging in sex acts with a minor.

Patrick Joseph Friedel, 29, will serve a minimum of 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to possession and production of child pornography, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia announced today.

Friedel admitted to meeting five underage girls over the internet and, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office, exchanged sexually explicit images with them, using “persuasion, including sending depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, and coercion, including threats to post images online and tell parents.”

According to a signed affidavit by the Department of Homeland Security agent assigned to the case and acquired by ARLnow.com, Friedel used social networking apps Kik and MeetMe with the username “gthoya” to find victims and persuade them to send him sexually explicit images and videos.

Law enforcement found approximately 500 images or videos on Friedel’s computer of minors engaging in sex acts or other lewd behavior, according to the affidavit. The majority of the media was sent to Friedel directly at his request. At least six of the images or videos were of children under the age of 10 engaging in sex acts with adult males, but agents believe Friedel acquired them from other sources online.

Friedel engaged in sexual activity with one of the girls with whom he had contact three times, taking pictures and videos of the incidents. According to Friedel’s plea agreement, the images “included sadistic or masochistic conduct or other depictions of violence.” The victim was 15 years old at the time.

The affidavit states Friedel rented a Zipcar to drive to the victim’s house, pick her up, and engage in intercourse and “oral and anal sodomy” in the back seat. On a separate occasion, Friedel picked her up and brought her to his home in Arlington, where he filmed their sexual encounters. On the videotape, the agent states, he instructs her to perform sex acts to him and “slapped her on the head” when she did not do as instructed.

Friedel is scheduled to be sentenced on April 24.

The full press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office is after the jump.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Patrick Joseph Friedel, 29, of Arlington, Virginia, pleaded guilty today to production and possession of child pornography.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Clark E. Settles, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations Washington, D.C.; and Edwin C. Roessler, Jr., Chief of Police, Fairfax County Police Department made the announcement after the plea was accepted by U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis, III.

Friedel was originally indicted by a federal grand jury on November 20, 2014.  Friedel faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison and a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison when he is sentenced on April 24, 2015.  The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress.  It is provided here for informational purposes.  The sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

In a statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Friedel acknowledged meeting five underage teenagers over the Internet and exchanging sexually explicit images with them.  In this pattern of activity, Friedel used persuasion, including sending depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, and coercion, including threats to post images online and tell parents.   On three occasions, Friedel picked up one of the minors and engaged in sexual activity with her.  He took pictures and videos of this activity, which according to the plea agreement, included sadistic or masochistic conduct or other depictions of violence.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the Fairfax County Police Department with the assistance of the Northern Virginia/DC Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew Gardner and Tracy Doherty-McCormick are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:14-cr-383.

Flickr photo by Joe Gratz

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