Former Carroll County Coach and Substitute Teacher Pleads Guilty to Federal Charge for Sexual Exploitation of a Child
Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang today sentenced former youth and high school football coach, Moshe Michael Imel, age 53, of Owings, Maryland, to 40 years in federal prison, followed by lifetime supervised release, for two counts of production of child pornography involving two minor victims. Imel also pleaded guilty to charges related to the sexual abuse of minors in three cases in the Circuit Court for Calvert County and is scheduled to be sentenced on August 4, 2023.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge James C. Harris of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Calvert County Sheriff Ricky Cox; and Calvert County State’s Attorney Robert Harvey.
According to his plea agreement, between July 2018 and November 2020, Imel was an assistant football coach at a Calvert County High School. In March 2021, law enforcement interviewed two victims who reported that beginning when Imel coached the individuals in a youth football program and continuing through high school, Imel groomed and then sexually abused the victims. Specifically, Imel admitted that he directed each victim to expose and touch himself in a sexual way and ultimately engaged in sexual contact with the victims on numerous occasions. Imel also created sexually explicit videos of the victims documenting his abuse.
A search warrant was executed at Imel’s home and confirmed that the basement—including the action figures lining the walls, the computer setup, the cameras, sex toys and other paraphernalia—was as the victims had described it to law enforcement. A review of fourteen electronic devices seized at Imel’s residence revealed that they all contained child pornography or evidence of Imel’s sexual contact with minors.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc and click on the "Resources" tab on the left of the page.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the HSI, the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office, and the Calvert County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy F. Hagan, who prosecuted the federal case and recognized Calvert County Assistant State’s Attorney Rebecca N. Cordero, who is prosecuting Imel’s case in the Circuit Court for Calvert County.
For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md/project-safe-childhood and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.
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