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Minnesota man charged with sexually exploiting children outside the US

WCCO digital update: Morning of April 23, 2024
WCCO digital update: Morning of April 23, 2024 03:06

MINNEAPOLIS — A Minnesota man is accused of sexually exploiting children abroad.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says 61-year-old Steven Sokel was recently charged with two counts of sexual exploitation of children and a count of possession of child pornography.

Court documents state Sokel, from Blooming Prairie, "coerced three minor girls outside of the United States to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing visual depictions."

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Sokel is also accused of possessing sexually explicit videos and images of minors.

The investigation was led jointly by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Sokel made his first court appearance in federal court on Friday and will remain in custody until his detention hearing. That date has yet to be released.

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