United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that a federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment Thursday, March 14, charging Frank Charles Reddell, 38, of Madera, with sexual exploitation of a minor and receipt or distribution of material involving the sexual exploitation of a minor.
This case is the product of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcements (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) the Madera County Sheriffs Department, the Madera Police Department, and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Division of Adult Parole Operations. Assistant United States Attorney Brian W. Enos is prosecuting the case.
According to the indictment, in May 2012 and again in November 2012, Reddell, a registered sex offender on GPS monitoring, knowingly used separate minors to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing child pornography. The indictment alleges that from Feb. 23, 2011 through Dec. 26, 2012, Reddell received or shared child pornography via the Internet.
According to court documents, on Dec. 26, 2012, Reddell, who was on parole, was arrested by a parole agent who observed Reddell sitting in his car in a parking lot viewing images of child pornography. When agents searched the Reddells computer and a computer thumb drive identified as belonging to him, they found numerous files containing child pornography. Data embedded in one photograph led to two particular houses in Madera where Reddell had worked as a handyman.
This case is deeply disturbing in light of the defendants ability to market himself as a handyman and gain access to homes where children reside, said Mike Prado, resident agent in charge of HSI Fresno. Apprehending repeat sexual predators who continue to prey on local children in order to produce child pornography will always be a top priority for HSI. We will continue to direct all of our resources to bringing those who engage in the exploitation of innocent children to justice.
If convicted, Reddell faces a possible sentence of 25 to 50 years in prison for each production count, and 15 to 40 years in prison for the receipt and distribution count. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory sentencing factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
According to the indictment, Reddell has a prior conviction in Tuolumne County Superior Court in 2004, for lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor. This prior conviction would affect the statutory minimum and maximum penalties to which Reddell would be subject if convicted in this pending federal matter.
Law enforcement officials request that anyone with information that would assist the ongoing investigation of Frank Charles Reddell contact HSI Special Agent Tim Kotman at (559) 487-6011.
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 Divisions Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.
For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. Click on the resources tab for information about Internet safety education.