The following press release was issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Southern District of Florida on Monday, March 6, 2023.
MIAMI – Christopher James Chappell, a 46-year-old former Captain with the Florida Highway Patrol, has pled guilty to accessing child sexual abuse material.
As part of his guilty plea, Chappell admitted to watching a video depicting the sexual abuse of a prepubescent minor child while he engaged in sexual acts with another individual. Chappell then sent a photo of his sexual encounter to a third individual in a group chat, which showed the child sexual abuse material playing in the background.
U.S. District Judge Rodney Smith will sentence Chappell on May 19, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Divisions Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe for the Southern District of Florida and acting Special Agent in Charge Maged Behnam of the FBI Miami Field Office announced the conviction.
FBI Miami investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lacee Elizabeth Monk is prosecuting the case.
Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov, under case number 22-cr-60148.