United States Flag
Official Website of the Department of Homeland Security

Report Crimes: Email or Call 1-866-DHS-2-ICE

Child Exploitation

German pediatrician sentenced to more than 17 years in prison following sex tourism sting

Cleveland – A pediatrician was sentenced to 210 months in federal prison Monday after pleading guilty to charges related to the sexual exploitation of a child. The sentence is the result of an undercover sting operation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Peter Beichl, 49, a German national, was sentenced after previously pleading guilty in August 2011 to two counts of attempted sex trafficking of children and one count of travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct.

"The details of this defendant's case shows the lengths people will go to commit these unspeakable crimes," said U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach, Northern District of Ohio. "We will work cooperatively and vigilantly to protect our most vulnerable."

"Dr. Beichl traveled to this country with the intent to have sex with a sedated child and to record his depraved actions," said Brian M. Moskowitz, special agent in charge of ICE HSI for Ohio and Michigan. "But as a result of the exceptional work of a very dedicated team of special agents, prosecutors and support staff, Beichl will instead spend a lot longer in the United States than he ever intended – in federal prison."

Beichl, a doctor from Albstadt, Germany, was arrested in Cleveland by ICE HSI special agents in March 2011 after he flew from Germany to Cleveland for the purpose of having sex with an 11-year-old girl.

Arresting agents found Beichl with lingerie, sex toys, bondage ropes, straps, a mask, lubricant, 17 condoms as well as five wrapped presents – four stuffed unicorn toys and a unicorn paint-by-number set. The undercover agent had told Beichl the fictitious 11-year-old he wanted to have sex with liked unicorns, according to court documents.

Beichl also carried with him a bottle of Midazolam, a sedative. Beichl previously wrote to the undercover agent, who posed as a man who could arrange sex with underage girls: "If she should be scared I could bring some short acting slight sedative, which is doing no harm."

Beichl agreed to pay $1,150 to spend eight hours with the girl at a hotel near Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, and agreed to pay extra to videotape the encounter, according to court documents.

Beichl's case is one of four felony convictions that resulted from Operation Traverse, an undercover sting operation that offered secure travel from Cleveland to Canada for people who sought to engage in sexual conduct with minors. Special agents, acting as undercover facilitators for those interested in sex with minors, then responded to email requests for information about arranging such encounters.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael A. Sullivan following an investigation by ICE HSI and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.