Cameron Park Man Arraigned On Child Pornography Charges
SACRAMENTO, Calif. —Frederick Simonelli, 69, of Cameron Park, was arraigned on charges of receipt of child pornography, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. The two-count indictment, brought by a grand jury on March 26, 2014, was unsealed today.
According to court documents, on January 15, 2012, and January 16, 2012, Simonelli received through the Internet images from the minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. At the arraignment before U.S. Magistrate Judge Allison Claire, Simonelli pleaded not guilty. He was released on a $25,000 bond. He was also ordered to not have any contact with minors, and to not access the Internet. His next court date is June 19, 2014, before United States District Judge Troy L. Nunley.
This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Assistant United States Attorney Kyle Reardon is prosecuting the case.
“Each time an image of child pornography is viewed, that child is victimized again,” said Daniel Lane, assistant special agent in charge for HSI Sacramento. “HSI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to ensure that those who harm children in this way – no matter their wealth, status or education – receive the justice they deserve.”
If convicted of receipt of child pornography, Simonelli faces a maximum statutory penalty not less than five years and up to 40 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
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 those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. Click on the “resources” tab for information about Internet safety education.
This investigation was conducted under HSI's Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 10,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2013, more than 2,000 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.