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Press Release

Ben Avon Man Pleads Guilty To Receiving Pornographic Videos Of Minors

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

PITTSBURGH - A Pittsburgh-area resident pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of receipt of material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Charles Appel, 71, pleaded guilty to one count before Chief United States District Judge Joy Flowers Conti.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Appel received by United States mail, on or about Feb. 21, 2011, a video which depicted the sexual exploitation of minor boys from a Canadian video production company known as “Azov”, which previously operated a website offering DVD’s and streaming videos depicting children being sexually exploited. Appel ordered and received the video, titled “Boy Fights XIX: Triple Threat (2009)”, in both electronic and DVD format for $29.95 on Feb. 21, 2011, which he paid for with a credit card. During the period May 15, 2009 through March 13, 2011, Appel ordered videos from Azov on 29 occasions for a total cost of $1,864.54.

Judge Conti scheduled sentencing for March 28, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. The law provides for a total sentence of not less than 5 years nor more than 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000.00, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court continued defendant’s bond with the added condition that he register as a sex offender.

Assistant United States Attorney Carolyn J. Bloch is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The United States Postal Inspection Service conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Appel.

Updated July 14, 2015