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Child Exploitation

British man extradited to face child exploitation charges after HSI probe

CINCINNATI — A British man has been extradited to the U.S. to faces charges of coercion of a minor and travelling with intent to engage in illicit sexual contact with a minor. The extradition is the result of a nearly two-year investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Richard Castle, 46, a resident of the United Kingdom, has been extradited to the United States to face charges of coercion of a minor, travelling with intent to engage in illicit sexual contact with a minor and transferring obscene material to minors. The charges are related to a trip he allegedly made to Ohio from his home in order to have sexual relations with a juvenile in June 2011. He was ordered held without bond pending trial.

The three-count indictment alleges that Castle, posing as a male named Richard Joshua Parker, used the Internet between March 2009 and June 2011 to coerce a juvenile to engage in illicit sexual activity. He allegedly flew to Dayton in June 2011 to engage in illicit sexual relations with the juvenile and stayed approximately three weeks. The indictment also accuses Castle of transferring obscene materials to a juvenile.

Coercion and enticement of a minor is punishable by at least ten years and up to life in prison. Travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct is punishable by up to 30 years and transfer of obscene material to minors is punishable by up to 10 years.

Members of the Metropolitan Police Service's Extradition Team and International Assistance Unit, both housed within New Scotland Yard, arrested Castle at his home in Northampton, England, and seized at least one computer.

This investigation is part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 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, 1-800-843-5678.

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.