ATLANTA – A Georgia man, who attempted to purchase a 14-year-old girl from an undercover federal agent, has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for enticing a child to engage in illegal sexual activity.
Carl Skow, 37, of Norcross, was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents in July 2011. He will serve a lifetime of supervised release and be required to register as a sex offender following his release from prison.
"It is shocking that this defendant would endeavor to buy a young girl, imported from another country, as his personal sex slave," said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. "Sex trafficking is a horrendous trade. Those who insist on preying on innocent people this way should expect jail in their future. We commend Homeland Security Investigations for its proactive work in identifying child predators and removing them from our community."
"The defendant’s attempt to purchase an underage girl from Guatemala makes plain the fact that human trafficking is indeed a form of modern day slavery," said Special Agent in Charge Brock D. Nicholson, who oversees Homeland Security Investigations operations in Georgia and the Carolinas. "Protecting children from these malicious predators is a top priority for my agency, and we will continue to work closely with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to identify them and bring them to justice."
According to information presented in court, in June 2011, an undercover federal agent responded to an ad posted by Skow on an online classifieds website where Skow offered a younger girl money for sex. Between early June 2011 and July 6, 2011, Skow and the agent communicated several times through electronic mail, by telephone and in person, regarding Skow’s interest in purchasing a minor female from Guatemala for sexual services. Skow agreed to pay the agent $2,500 for a year of her services and made a down payment of $1,250 for the minor. The agent and Skow agreed to meet at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport July 6, 2011, where Skow planned to pick up the minor female, and make the final $1,250 payment to the undercover agent. On that date, at the agreed meeting location, Skow was arrested in possession of the final payment. Also July 6, 2011, agents executed a search warrant at Skow’s home and found, among other items, a large collection of child pornography on his home computer. They additionally found posted on a wall a list of rules for the minor female to follow, including the rule that she have sex with Skow whenever he chose.
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.
HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.