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Crime

Four sentenced in Mississippi for child exploitation

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Four individuals were recently sentenced in Mississippi child exploitation cases. Attorney General Lynn Fitch announced the following four sentencings in a press release on Friday.

On Aug. 1, Matthew Robert Strempler of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, pled guilty and was sentenced by Hancock County Circuit Judge Lisa P. Dodson on one count of Child Exploitation. Strempler was sentenced to a term of forty years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) with eighteen to serve and five years of post-release supervision. He will serve day-for-day without the possibility of parole and will have to register as a sex offender.

On June 30, Mikel Peter Carlson of Stonewall, Mississippi, pled guilty and was sentenced by Clarke County Circuit Judge Robert “Bo” Bailey on two separate counts of Possession of Child Exploitation Material. On the first count, Carlson was sentenced to a term of forty years in the custody of MDOC with five years to serve and five years of post-release supervision. On the second count, Carlson was sentenced to a term of forty years in the custody of the MDOC with ten years to serve and five years of post-release supervision. The terms of imprisonment will run consecutively. Carlson will serve day-for-day without the possibility of parole and will have to register as a sex offender.

On June 29, Caleb Schooley of Memphis, Tennessee, pled guilty and was sentenced by Desoto County Circuit Judge Celeste Embry Wilson on one count of Child Exploitation (enticing a child to meet for sexually explicit purposes). Schooley was sentenced to a term of forty years in the custody of the MDOC with fifteen to serve, five years supervised probation, and twenty years of non-reporting probation. He will serve day-for-day without the possibility of parole and will have to register as a sex offender.

On June 27, Christopher Adam Deen of Covington County, Mississippi pled guilty and was sentenced by Covington County Circuit Judge Stanley Sorey on two counts of Child Exploitation. On the first count, Deen was sentenced to a term of twenty years in the custody of the MDOC with ten to serve and five years of post-release supervision. On the second count, Deen was sentenced to the same and the sentences will be served concurrently. He will serve day-for-day without the possibility of parole and will have to register as a sex offender.

Schooley’s arrest in April 2021 was a result of Operation Blue Rain, a multi-jurisdictional operation coordinated by the Attorney General’s Office Cyber Crime Division. The Hernando Police Department, Panola County Sheriff’s Office, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Tishomingo County Sheriff’s Office, Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security participated in that operation.

“The physical, mental, and emotional injuries caused by child exploitation will be felt by the victims for a lifetime,” said Attorney General Lynn Fitch. “My office is committed to investigating and prosecuting these cases, and we are grateful to have such strong partners in law enforcement agencies across the State. But our best partners in this fight are concerned citizens who report suspected abuse. Your tip can save a child’s life.”

If you have information about a child being sexually exploited online, please report it to 1-800-843-5678. The hotline is manned 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and tips are reported to the Attorney General’s Office. You can also make a report online at www.cybertipline.org.

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