Skip to main content
Press Release

Saint Louis Man Sentenced to 30 Years in Federal Prison for Sexually Exploiting a 14-year-old Owensboro Girl

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Kentucky

Owensboro, KY – Christopher Bertolett was sentenced yesterday to 30 years in prison for violating federal child exploitation laws.

U.S. Attorney Michael A. Bennett of the Western District of Kentucky, Special Agent in Charge Rob Holman of the United States Secret Service, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, and Chief Arthur Ealum Jr. of the Owensboro Police Department made the announcement.

Bertolett, 54, previously pled guilty to online enticement of a minor, transfer of obscene material to a minor, production of child pornography, and interstate travel to engage in illegal sexual activity.

In the change of plea hearing, Bertolett admitted that in January 2021, he met a 14-year-old girl through an online software application. The girl lived in Owensboro, Kentucky and Bertolett lived in Saint Louis, Missouri. The two communicated online from January 2021 until May 2021. Bertolett and the girl discussed a variety of topics while communicating online, including sexual activity. On or about February 4, 2021, Bertolett sent the 14-year-old girl pictures of his genitalia.

On or about May 9, 2021, Bertolett rented a car and drove from Saint Louis to Owensboro where he met the girl, drove her to an Owensboro motel, and sexually exploited her. Law enforcement officials arrested Bertolett on May 10, 2021.

In addition to the 30-year prison sentence, Bertolett was ordered to pay the victim $10,000.00 in restitution. He was also ordered to serve a life term of supervised release after his release from prison. There is no parole in the federal system.

Assistant United States Attorneys Jo E. Lawless and Raymond McGee prosecuted the case.

The United States Secret Service, the Kentucky Office of Attorney General’s Department of Criminal Investigations, and the Owensboro Police Department conducted the investigation.

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 Attorneys’ 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  For more information about internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab “resources.”


Updated November 18, 2022