Former Joplin teacher pleads guilty to sexual exploitation... - KOAM TV 7

Former Joplin teacher pleads guilty to sexual exploitation of a child, faces 28 years in prison



SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a former Joplin, Mo., middle school teacher has pleaded guilty in federal court to sexually exploiting a child victim to produce child pornography.

Charles D. Gastel, 40, of Carterville, Mo., pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush on Friday, Dec. 13, 2013. Gastel was formerly a science teacher at South Middle School in Joplin.

By pleading guilty today, Gastel admitted that he sexually assaulted a teenage victim, identified in court documents as Jane Doe, over a period of approximately nine years. Gastel also admitted that he video-recorded some of the sexual assaults.

Under the terms of his plea agreement, Gastel will be sentenced to 28 years in federal prison without parole. Following his prison term, Gastel must spend the rest of his life under supervised release. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

On July 13, 2013, a Carterville, Mo., police officer interviewed the 19-year-old victim at her home in Lamar, Mo. She reported that she had been sexually victimized by Gastel repeatedly, beginning when she was 10 years old. Jane Doe reported that during some of the assaults, Gastel used a digital video recorder to record them engaging in sexual acts.

On July 17, 2013, Gastel was interviewed at his residence by the investigators. He initially told the investigators that he did not have videos on his computer. When asked for consent to search his computer, Gastel replied that he wanted to talk to a lawyer because he had files on his computer that would end his teaching career. Gastel was then placed under arrest and officers obtained a search warrant for his residence. A forensic preview of the digital media seized by officers yielded the discovery of several video files that depicted Gaston sexually assaulting Jane Doe when she was 16 years old.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James J. Kelleher. It was investigated by the Carterville, Mo., Police Department, the Southwest Missouri Cybercrime Task Force and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

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Posted July 27, 2013:  A former Joplin Middle School teacher has been charged with sexual exploitation of children in U.S. District Court. 

Charles Dominic Gastel, 39, of Carterville is charged with the production of child pornography involving a teenage girl from Lamar stemming from January 2009 to January 2011.

According to an affidavit filed with the Jasper County Sheriff's Department, police in Carterville were contacted by the Barton County Sheriff's Department on July 15th about a sexual assault that occurred on June 28th at a residence in Carterville. The report says Gastel repeatedly tried to engage in sexual intercourse despite protests from the girl.

Authorities then interviewed Gastel's son, who said he saw a video on Gastel's laptop computer that showed Gastel and the victim engaging in intercourse. Police confiscated the computer, where they found 3 videos of Gastel and the victim dating back to when she was 16 years old. Investigators confiscated other computers as well as a video camera and other items.

Gastel was formerly a science teacher at South Middle School, but resigned from his position at the end of this year.


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