Former Teacher Sentenced For Sexual Exploitation Of Children
MARQUETTE, MICHIGAN — Thomas Kevin Hamel, 67, of St. Ignace, Michigan, was sentenced to 180 months in federal prison for sexual exploitation of a minor, U.S. Attorney Patrick A. Miles, Jr. announced today. In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge R. Allan Edgar ordered Hamel to serve five years of supervised release from prison, to pay a fine of $25,000 and a $100 special assessment. Hamel will also be required to register as a sexual offender.
On February 1, 2016, Hamel pled guilty to sexual exploitation of a minor. Hamel’s activities came to light through an investigation into the distribution of child pornography in the U.S. by a foreign company. U.S. Postal Inspection Service agents obtained subscriber information and shipping records from this company, which identified Hamel as a subscriber who had purchased suspected child pornography videos. Hamel’s electronic media, including computers and flash drives, were seized during the execution of a search warrant. Forensic analysis of the electronic media revealed a significant collection of child pornographic images and videos, including what appeared to be home-made videos. Further investigation by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation showed that Hamel, a retired teacher who served as an athletic trainer for the football and wrestling teams at St. Ignace LaSalle High School, had secretly videotaped boys from the football and wrestling teams while they were nude.
This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. The U.S. Attorney's Office, county prosecutor's offices, Internet Crimes Against Children task force (ICAC), federal, state, and local law enforcement are working closely together to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children. The partners in Project Safe Childhood work to educate local communities about the dangers of online child exploitation, and to teach children how to protect themselves. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit the following web site: www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The United States Postal Inspection Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Mackinac County Sheriff Department, the St. Ignace Police Department, and the Michigan State Police Computer Crimes Unit investigated the case. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul D. Lochner.