BOSTON – A Connecticut man was charged today with attempting to engage a 14-year-old in sexual activity.
Paul R. Hinkel, 56, of Chester, Conn., was indicted on charges that he induced and coerced, and attempted to induce and coerce, a minor to engage in sexual activity.
In February 2014, federal undercover agents in Boston placed an advertisement on Craigslist purportedly as a mother seeking an adult interested in a “taboo relationship” with her daughter. Hinkel responded that he was interested, even after the purported mother disclosed that the daughter was only 14-years-old. Hinkel proceeded to engage in email communications with the purported mother, detailing the sexual activities in which he would engage with the minor “daughter”. On March 19, Hinkel traveled from his home in Chester to Watertown, Mass., for the purpose of having sex with a minor. Upon his arrival at the designated meeting place, he was arrested by federal agents. At the time of his arrest, Hinkel was carrying a bag which contained sexual paraphernalia, men’s cologne, and a stuffed animal for the minor.
If convicted, Hinkel faces a statutory mandatory minimum term of 10 years in prison, a minimum of five years and a maximum of a lifetime of supervised released, and a $250,000 fine.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations in Boston, made the announcement today. Assistance was also provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Connecticut, HSI Connecticut, the Massachusetts State Police, and the Watertown Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eve A. Piemonte Stacey of Ortiz’s Major Crimes Unit.
The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The case is brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In 2006, the Department of Justice created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov/.