Blooming Prairie man charged federally with child sexual exploitation

Published 11:57 am Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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A Blooming Prairie man has been charged federally for sexually exploiting children outside of the United States.

Announced by the office of U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger, 61-year-old Steven John Sokel has been indicted with two counts of sexual exploitation of children and one count of possession of child pornography.

According to Luger’s office, Sokel appeared in U.S. District Court on April 19 and was ordered by Magistrate Judge David T. Schultz to remain in custody pending a formal detention hearing.

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According to court documents, Sokel aided and abetted other individuals in coercing three minor girls outside of the U.S. to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing visual depictions. Sokel also possessed sexually explicit images and videos of minors.

Sokel’s case was part of a Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection investigation.