ANCHORAGE – A Haines man was sentenced today to 20 years in prison for sexually exploiting minors.
According to court documents, Christopher Panagiotou-Scigliano, 41, pled guilty to one count of Production of Child Pornography, involving coercing a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing child pornography.
In 2015 Panagiotou-Scigliano moved to a farm in Haines. After his arrival, Panagiotou-Scigliano arranged for several children he had been grooming and abusing in another state to visit his farm in Haines multiple times. When the children arrived Panagiotou-Scigliano continued grooming and sexually exploiting them by taking numerous sexually explicit images and videos of the victims.
Panagiotou-Scigliano is also charged with the sexual abuse of multiple child victims in another state. That case is still pending.
“This office will continue to vigorously prosecute heinous predatory crimes such as this,” said S. Lane Tucker, United States Attorney for the District of Alaska. “Although no term of imprisonment can repair the harm caused to the victims, anyone engaging or thinking about engaging in grooming and sexual conduct with minors should take warning from this significant sentence.”
“In this unconscionable case, the defendant engaged in a years-long manipulation and grooming process to isolate and sexually abuse minors, all under the guise of being a trusted family friend,” said Special Agent in Charge Antony Jung of the FBI Anchorage Field Office. “The FBI and our law enforcement partners will continue to identify, aggressively pursue, and hold accountable those who commit these vile crimes against children.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force investigated the case. The Haines Police Department, the Bonner County, Idaho, Sheriff’s Office, the Bonner County Prosecutor’s Office and the Alaska State Troopers supported the investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer Ivers and James Klugman prosecuted the case.
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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, Project Safe Childhood combines federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
originally published at HUMAN RIGHTS - USA DAILY NEWS 24