U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California
(916) 554-2700
May 21, 2015

Former Bureau of Prisons Employee Charged with Sex Trafficking a Minor

SACRAMENTO, CA—A federal grand jury returned a one-count indictment today against Charles Carstersen, 52, of Manteca, charging him with sex trafficking of a minor, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

According to court documents, between February and March 2015, while Carstersen was employed at the Bureau of Prisons, he recruited a 16-year-old girl to engage in prostitution. He rented hotel rooms for her in the Sacramento area, helped her to post ads online, and bought her clothes. On May 11, 2015, Carstersen was arrested and has been in custody as a flight risk and a danger to the community.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Sacramento Child Exploitation Task Force of which the Sacramento Police Department is a member, the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, and the Roseville Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Michele Beckwith is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Carstersen faces 10 years to life in prison and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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 the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. Click on the “resources” tab for information about Internet safety education.

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