Manhattan U.S. Attorney And FBI Assistant Director-In-Charge Announce Arrest Of California Man For Attempted Sex Trafficking And Possession And Distribution Of Child Pornography
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and George Venizelos, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), today announced the arrest of CHARLES FAMILETTI, JR. for attempted sex trafficking of a minor as well as for possession and distribution of child pornography. FAMILETTI was arrested by FBI agents in the afternoon of Monday, July 15, 2013, at a corporate apartment that he rents in Manhattan. He was presented Monday evening before U.S. Magistrate Judge James L. Cott in Manhattan federal court.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “As alleged, Charles Familetti not only possessed and distributed child pornography, but even more disturbingly, agreed to pay hundreds of dollars to arrange to have sex with a child. Thanks to the efforts of the FBI, Familetti’s alleged illicit conduct was brought to light, and he will now have to answer to these serious charges.”
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge George Venizelos said: “There may be no more important mission for the FBI than protecting the most vulnerable of victims. As alleged, this defendant not only possessed and distributed child pornography, he paid someone in an attempt to rape an 11-year-old child. Child pornography is itself predatory, because children are victimized to produce it.”
According to the allegations contained in the Complaint filed in Manhattan federal court:
FAMILETTI was arrested following an FBI sting operation in which he agreed to pay an undercover FBI agent $500 in order to have sex with an 11-year old boy. On July 15, 2013, FAMILETTI met with the undercover agent to confirm the agreement and then took the agent to an ATM and gave him a $100 down payment. Prior to that meeting, FBI agents downloaded what appeared to be several images of child pornography from FAMILETTI via a publically available peer-to-peer file sharing network. During a search of FAMILETTI’s apartment following his arrest, FBI agents also recovered a memory card containing hundreds of images and videos of what appeared to be minor children engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
FAMILETTI, 46, of San Francisco, California, is charged with one count of attempted sex trafficking of a minor, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum penalty of life in prison. He is also charged with one count of transporting or distributing child pornography, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and one count of possessing child pornography which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. All three counts also carry a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.
Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI. He added that the investigation is continuing.
The FBI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through their switchboard at (212) 384-1000. It is staffed around the clock by investigators. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.
The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Patrick Egan is in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Complaint are merely an accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.