Eastern Iowa man gets 10 years for hiding Minnesota teen

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(Cedar Rapids, IA) -- An eastern Iowa man who had a long term online relationship with a minor teenager via social media, which ended with him secretly driving her to Iowa and hiding her in a park while her parents tried to locate her, has been sentenced to more than ten years in federal prison.

Twenty-seven-year-old Randy Abels, from Lowden received the prison term after a guilty plea to receipt of child pornography.

Abels admitted he knowingly received visual depictions of child pornography from the victim. At sentencing, the judge noted that Abels was a “predator” who “kidnapped” the victim from her home after grooming her online. Abels pursued the victim and physically transported her from Minnesota to Iowa after being previously caught and confronted by her parents. In an attempt to avoid being caught, he hid her at a park.   

Abels was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court C.J. Williams. Abels was sentenced to 121 months’ imprisonment and fined $100. He must also serve a ten-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.

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. 

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