Connecticut Man Sentenced to Ten Years in Child Enticement Sting
BOSTON – A Connecticut man was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Boston for traveling to Watertown in response to an advertisement on Craigslist in which a woman sought an adult man who might be interested in a sexual relationship with her child. The Craigslist ad was placed by undercover federal agents seeking to detect online predators.
Paul R. Hinkel, 57, of Chester, Conn., was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young to 10 years in prison and five years of supervised release. He was convicted by a federal jury following a three-day trial in February 2015 of using the Internet in an attempt to entice or coerce a minor to engage in sex.
In February 2014, an undercover federal agent placed an advertisement on Craigslist posing as a mother seeking an adult male interested in a sexual relationship with her daughter. Hinkel responded to the advertisement and was not deterred when he was told that the daughter was only 15-years-old. Hinkel proceeded to engage in hundreds of emails with the undercover agents, detailing the sexual activities in which he would engage with the teen. On March 19, 2014, Hinkel traveled from his home in Chester, Conn. to Watertown to meet and have sex with the fictional minor daughter. He carried a bag to the door with him, which contained sexual paraphernalia, men’s cologne, and a stuffed animal. Hinkel was arrested by federal agents upon his arrival at the site in Watertown.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston, made the announcement today. The HSI New Haven, Conn. Field Division; Customs & Border Protection, New York Air Unit; Watertown Police Department; and Massachusetts State Police, also assisted with the investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eve A. Piemonte and Jordi de Llano of Ortiz’s Major Crimes Unit.
This 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/.