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Child Exploitation

Georgia man indicted for attempting to buy child

ATLANTA — A federal grand jury returned an indictment Tuesday against a Georgia man who attempted to "buy" a child, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Carl Skow, 34, of Marietta, Ga., was indicted Aug. 2 for attempting to obtain a minor for the purpose of engaging in a commercial sex act, enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity, and possession of child pornography. Skow previously had an initial appearance on a criminal complaint and is currently in custody pending trial.

"ICE HSI will aggressively use its broad investigative authorities to identify and arrest individuals who seek to sexually exploit any child," said Brock Nicholson, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Atlanta. "HSI is fully committed to insuring that those who victimize children are brought to justice."

In June, an undercover federal agent responded to an ad posted by Skow on an online classifieds website in which he offered a young girl sex for money.

Between early June and July 6, 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 Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on July 6, where Skow planned to pick up the minor female, and make the final $1,250 payment to the undercover agent. On that day, at the agreed meeting location, Skow was arrested in possession of the final payment. Also on July 6, agents executed a search warrant at Skow's home and found, among other items, numerous images of child pornography on his home computer.

The investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who prey on children, including human traffickers, international sex tourists, Internet pornographers, and foreign-national predators whose crimes make them deportable.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.