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Former DOJ Attorney Sentenced to 10 Years for Attempting to Entice a Minor to Engage in Criminal Sexual Activity

U.S. Attorney’s Office June 25, 2013
  • Middle District of Tennessee (615) 736-5151

Karl Norman Gellert, 48, of Bellevue, Tennessee, was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Nashville to attempt to entice a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity, announced David Rivera, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.

Chief Judge William Joseph Haynes, Jr. sentenced Gellert to 10 years of incarceration, to be followed by 20 years of supervised release, during which time he will be required to register as a sex offender and participate in sex offender treatment, among other conditions.

“The U.S. Attorney’s office is committed to protecting our children who are powerless from protecting themselves from sexual predators,” said Acting U.S. Attorney David Rivera. “No one is above the law and no one gets a pass; we will pursue the evidence to wherever it leads.”

According to the plea agreement, in early April 2012, Gellert communicated online with an undercover agent whom he believed to be an 11-year-old girl who had never engaged in sexual activity with anyone. Gellert’s communication involved chess, his family, school, relationships, and sex. During multiple online conversations, he provided instructions on how to engage in sexual activities and transmitted images of himself engaging in such activity, as well as images of adult pornography and a link to a website for sexual devices. He asked if she would be interested in engaging in sexual activity with him in person and encouraged her to engage in sexual activity in preparation for his visit. After communicating online numerous times with this individual whom he believed to be an 11-year-old girl, he began also engaging in online discussions with whom he believed to be the child’s mother, but who was the same undercover agent. He also instructed the person whom he believed to be the child’s mother about what do to prepare this child for his sexual abuse of her.  The communication continued through early June 2012.

Prior to engaging in this illegal activity, Gellert had been an attorney with the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., through 2009.

This matter was investigated by the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the United States Attorney’s Offices for the Middle District of Tennessee and the Eastern District of Virginia. The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys S. Carran Daughtrey and Alicia Yass.

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