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Date: 07-14-2023

Case Style:

United States of America v. Karl Quilter

Case Number: 1:20-cr-00826

Judge: Virginia M. Kendall

Court: United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Cook County)

Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office in Chicago

Defendant's Attorney: Donna Ann Hickstein Foley

Description: Chicago, Illinois criminal defense lawyer represented Defendant charged with enticing at least nine girls in the Philippines to produce sexually explicit photos and videos of themselves and send them to him.

Karl Quilter, 58, pleaded guilty last year to a federal charge of sexual exploitation of children.

Quilter admitted in a plea agreement that he communicated with the girls via Facebook, Viber, and Skype from 2017 to 2020. Quilter referred to the minor victims as his “girlfriends” to manipulate and pressure them into sending specific types of photos and videos that he demanded. Quilter also preyed on the victims’ financial difficulties, using money transfers to the victims’ families to entice the girls to take the sexually explicit images. In a message to one 16-year-old victim in 2020, Quilter promised to send money to her family for medicine and food if she complied with his demands. “If u do what I tell you… I will make sure u can buy food for 2 weeks and your medication,” Quilter said in the message. “Think of your little sister that she can e[a]t for 2 weeks everyday 3 meals a day and u get well.”

Quilter traveled to the Philippines in 2017 and 2018 and explicitly referenced his plans to have sex with several of the minors when he next visited the country in December 2020. Law enforcement arrested Quilter in Chicago in November 2020.

The sentence was announced by Morris Pasqual, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Sean Fitzgerald, Special Agent-in-Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Chicago. The Chicago Police Department provided valuable assistance.

“Victim by victim, and message by message, defendant used social media and the internet to target and groom young Filipino girls,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Ashley A. Chung argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum. “This was not a one-time aberration, but rather a years-long pattern of predatory abuse and exploitation of minors.”

Outcome: U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Kendall imposed the 30-year sentence after a hearing July 7, 2023, in federal court in Chicago.

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