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Press Release

Former Attorney at Law Office Representing Foster Children Charged with Distributing and Possessing Child Sexual Abuse Material

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of California

LOS ANGELES – A former supervising attorney at a nonprofit that provides legal representation to foster children in juvenile dependency court was arraigned today on federal criminal charges alleging he possessed and distributed child sexual abuse material (CSAM).

Charles Aghoian, 61, of Camarillo, is charged with three counts of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. He voluntarily surrendered this morning to federal law enforcement.

He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment this afternoon in United States District Court in downtown Los Angeles. A federal magistrate judge set his bond at $1 million and a May 6 trial date has been scheduled in this matter.

According to an indictment that a federal grand jury returned on March 1, Aghoian in December 2020 and January 2021 knowingly distributed sexually explicit videos featuring children. In April 2021, Aghoian also allegedly possessed on his smartphone images of child sexual abuse material including children under the age of 12 years.

At the time of the alleged conduct, Aghoian was a supervising attorney at the Children’s Law Center of California, which maintains offices in Monterey Park, Sacramento, and Lancaster. The organization provides legal representation for abused, neglected, or abandoned children who fall under the jurisdiction of the state’s juvenile dependency court system. Its attorneys serve Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Placer counties.

An indictment is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

If convicted, Aghoian would face a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison on each child pornography distribution charge and a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for each child pornography possession and distribution charges.

The FBI is investigating this matter.

Assistant United States Attorneys Nisha Chandran of the Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes Section and Alexandra Kelley of the General Crimes Section are prosecuting this case.


Ciaran McEvoy
Public Information Officer
(213) 894-4465

Updated March 11, 2024

Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 24-057