Child Predator Jailed for Life & FBI Agent’s Tips to Keep Kids Safe

Charles Richard Skaggs, Jr., a sexual predator who went under name Rick Skaggs, is an American who claimed to be running a non-profit for Ukrainian orphans, but was ultimately convicted of sexual exploitation of a minor, possession of child pornography, and concealment of evidence, was sentenced to life in prison on January 30, 2020.
Charles Richard Skaggs, Jr., 53, a sexual predator who went under name Rick Skaggs, is an American who claimed to be running a non-profit for Ukrainian orphans, but was ultimately convicted of sexual exploitation of a minor, possession of child pornography, and concealment of evidence, and was sentenced to life in prison on January 30, 2020.

By the FBI

When FBI Indianapolis Special Agent Ryan Barrett was the newest member of the field office’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, a more seasoned agent wanted to show him what they were up against.

“We had a program that tracked the use of a file-sharing program popular with people trading images of child sex abuse,” Barrett said.

Courtesy of the FBI
Courtesy of the FBI

“The agent asked the database to show a dot for every user in the state of Indiana.”

“The whole map lit up red.”

Barrett stressed that those results are not unique to Indiana—any populated area in the United States and many other countries would show some number of people viewing and trading this content.

“I could be working these cases 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year,” Barrett said.

Though the scale is daunting, it doesn’t stop task forces supported by the FBI from trying to put an end to child exploitation.

“No one is going to rest until kids are safe,” Barrett said.

Every case matters, but after 11 years on the task force, Barrett knows to prioritize cases that will make the greatest impact.

That means pursuing large trading networks and groups, going after the people who are producing the materials, and tracking online predators engaged in sextortion.

(An FBI special agent defines sextortion and provides tips to avoid falling prey to online predators. Courtesy of the FBI – Federal Bureau of Investigation and YouTube.)

It is work that often requires patience and tenacity.

Several years ago, Barrett got a tip from a Ukrainian citizen concerned about the activity of Charles Skaggs, Jr., an American who claimed to be running a non-profit for Ukrainian orphans.

There wasn’t much in the tip for the FBI to go on, but the name of Skaggs’ organization raised immediate alarm.

The name of the so-called orphanage was the same as a widely circulated series of child abuse videos.

“The fact that this guy names his orphanage after that—the second I saw it I was like, ‘Oh no,’” Barrett recalls.

At the time, it was difficult for Ukrainian authorities to help the investigation because the country was consumed with a war.

Courtesy of the FBI
Courtesy of the FBI

So Barrett asked for the support of Homeland Security Investigations and U.S. Customs and Border Protection in monitoring Skaggs’ trips in and out of the country.

It was then a matter of keeping tabs on Skaggs and waiting.

In December 2016, more than a year after the FBI received the tip, agents from Homeland Security Investigations and Customs and Border Protection stopped Skaggs for additional screening when he arrived at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport from Ukraine.

When asked if he had additional cell phones, electronics, computers, hard drives, thumb drives, or any other computer equipment on him or in his luggage, Skaggs told agents he did not.

But in their search, the agents uncovered several thumb drives from his bag that were later found to contain child sexual abuse images, including videos Skaggs had made of a child who often stayed in his Indiana home.

Courtesy of the FBI
Courtesy of the FBI

While he was in detention awaiting trial, Skaggs asked his son to retrieve a hard drive he had hidden in the ceiling of his apartment building’s laundry room.

That hard drive also contained images of child sexual abuse.

Skaggs was tried in July 2019 and convicted of nine counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, two counts of possession of child pornography, and one count of concealment of evidence.

He was sentenced to life in prison on January 30, 2020.

Barrett said judges in Indiana and across the country are recognizing the seriousness of these offenses and handing down lengthy sentences to offenders.

Courtesy of the FBI
Courtesy of the FBI

He said that should be a warning to anyone who is hurting children or viewing the photos and videos that document their abuse.

Barrett’s other warning is to parents and caregivers:

  • Make sure you’re talking to your children regularly as they spend time online.

  • His plea carries even more urgency as children across the country are relying on the internet more as classes and assignments have moved online.

“The web is great for so many good things, but it’s really bad for a few really bad things,” Barrett said.

One of the bad things, he said, is allowing child predators easy, immediate access to millions of children.

(Please share. Are you sure your kids know who they’re talking to online? If someone demands sexual images from you, stop immediately and report it. In this PSA, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) explore the dangers of sharing images online. Courtesy of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and YouTube.)

Remember all those dots on the map showing people using a file-sharing program to view abusive material?

Each of those individuals has an internet connection, which is all a predator needs to reach out to young people who are also online.

Caregivers need to find age-appropriate ways to explain to children that the person who wants to chat with them on an app or game or who wants a picture of them could be a real danger.

Barrett said most of the child exploitation cases he now sees have an online origin, and children can be harmed even if they never meet up with the predator.

The FBI has more information about online child exploitation and tips to help keep children safe.

While students are home, the FBI’s Safe Online Surfing program is a free and fun tool that can help young people in third through eighth grades learn about online safety.

John Clark, CEO of NCMEC, accepting a 2019 'ASTORS' Award at the 'ASTORS' Awards Luncheon held during ISC East.
John Clark, CEO of NCMEC, accepting a 2019 ‘ASTORS’ Award at the ‘ASTORS’ Awards Luncheon held during ISC East.

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), which was recognized along with , John F. Clark, the agency’s CEO, for Excellence in Public Safety in the 2019 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program, also offers resources, videos, and games to help younger children and teens understand online risks.

Child Sex Tourism: It’s a Crime

Some people might think that what they do overseas can stay overseas, but child sex tourism—when people travel to another country specifically to engage in sexual conduct with children—is illegal, and it’s a serious crime.

The FBI, in conjunction with domestic and international law enforcement partners, investigates U.S. citizens and permanent residents who travel overseas to engage in illegal sexual conduct with children under the age of 18.

Since 2008, the Bureau’s child sex tourism initiative has employed proactive strategies to address the crime, including aggressive investigations and prosecutions of individuals engaging in child sex tourism and working with foreign law enforcement and non-governmental organizations to provide child victims with resources and support services.

Courtesy of the FBI
Courtesy of the FBI

These crimes are exacerbated by the relative ease of international travel and the internet being a platform for individuals exchanging information about how and where to find child victims in foreign locations.

To Learn More about the FBI’s efforts to stop child sex tourism, please visit

Original post

To report suspected sextortion, call the nearest FBI field office or 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324).

To make a CyberTipline Report with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), visit

(Jacksonville FBI Special Agent Larry Meyer discusses the case of Lucas Chansler. In November, 2015, Lucas Michael Chansler was sentenced to 105 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to nine counts of producing child pornography. Prosecutors say Chansler, formerly of St. Johns, Florida, communicated with hundreds of teen girls in 26 states, three Canadian provinces, and the United Kingdom. Authorities have identified 109 victims, but believe there are about 240 more. Courtesy of the FBI – Federal Bureau of Investigation and YouTube.)

NCMEC & John F. Clark Recognized for Excellence in 2019 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program

John Clark, CEO of NCMEC, accepting a 2019 'ASTORS' Award at the 'ASTORS' Awards Luncheon held during ISC East.
John Clark, CEO of NCMEC, accepting a 2019 ‘ASTORS’ Award at the ‘ASTORS’ Awards Luncheon held during ISC East.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)

  • Excellence in Public Safety

  • The CyberTipLine

  • The NCMEC congressionally mandated CyberTipline is a reporting mechanism for cases of child sexual exploitation including child pornography, online enticement of children for sex acts, molestation of children outside the family, sex tourism of children, child victims of prostitution, and unsolicited obscene material sent to a child available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

(After over 20 years in operation, the NCMEC CyberTipline has received more than 45.2 million reports of suspected child sexual exploitation – more than half of those in just the last two years. Recognizing this explosive growth, Congress unanimously passed, and the president signed, a new law to streamline the CyberTipline process and tackle new trends we’re seeing in child sexual exploitation. Courtesy of NCMEC and YouTube. Posted on Jan 23, 2019.)

John F. Clark, CEO of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)

  • Excellence in Public Safety

  • Mr. John F. Clark was with the United States Marshals Service (USMS) for 28 years, serving as head of the USMS from 2006-2011.

  • Prior to the USMS, Mr. Clark served with the United States Capitol Police and United States Border Patrol.

  • He has served as the Chief Executive Officer of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) since 2015, where he has led a complete transformation of the organization.

  • NCMEC is unique as an non-profit organization in that it has certain Congressionally established mandates such as the CyberTipLine, which is the nation’s 9-1-1 reporting mechanism for reporting potential child exploitation, child pornography and missing children.

(Hear from John Clark, president and the CEO of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, on Operation Cross Country X, and the importance of working together to fight child exploitation and sex trafficking. Courtesy of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and YouTube.)

Enter today to Compete in the 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland SecurityAwards at


The Annual ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program is specifically designed to honor distinguished government and vendor solutions that deliver enhanced value, benefit and intelligence to end users in a variety of government, homeland security and public safety vertical markets.

Deanne Criswell
Deanne Criswell the Commissioner of the New York City Emergency Management Department is responsible for oversight of the City’s efforts to plan and prepare for emergencies, educate the public about preparedness, coordinate emergency response and recovery, and disseminate emergency information.

The Annual ‘ASTORS’ Awards is the preeminent U.S. Homeland Security Awards Program highlighting the most cutting-edge and forward-thinking security solutions coming onto the market today, to ensure our readers have the information they need to stay ahead of the competition, and keep our Nation safe – one facility, street, and city at a time.

American Security Today is pleased to announce that Deann Criswell, the NYC Emergency Management Commissioner will deliver the keynote address at the 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Presentation Luncheon Banquet in New York City.

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards at

Comprehensive List of Categories Include:

Access Control/ Identification Personal/Protective Equipment Law Enforcement Counter Terrorism
Perimeter Barrier/ Deterrent System Interagency Interdiction Operation Cloud Computing/Storage Solution
Facial/IRIS Recognition Body Worn Video Product Cyber Security
Video Surveillance/VMS Mobile Technology Anti-Malware
Audio Analytics Disaster Preparedness ID Management
Thermal/Infrared Camera Mass Notification System Fire & Safety
Metal/Weapon Detection Rescue Operations Critical Infrastructure
License Plate Recognition Detection Products And Many Others!

Don’t see a Direct Hit for your Product, Agency or Organization?

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the 2019–20 coronavirus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) on 30 January 2020 and a pandemic on 11 March 2020. Local transmission of the disease has occurred across all fifty states in the America.

With the unprecedented occurrence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the focus of the safety and security industries has realized the need to increase innovations to address the daily growing challenges.

As such AST aims to make sure these firms and professionals are reflected in the 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program, so we’d like to encourage you to submit appropriate categories recommendations and include COVID-19 Frontline Professionals in your Nominations to see that these Professionals, Facilities, and Vendors receive the Recognition they Deserve!

Submit your category recommendation for consideration to Michael Madsen, AST Publisher at:

The 2019 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program surpassed expectations with a record number of nominations received from industry leaders and government agencies, and drew over 200 attendees to the ‘ASTORS’ Awards Presentation Banquet – an exclusive gourmet luncheon and networking opportunity which filled to capacity, before having to turn away late registrants.

The 2019 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Luncheon featured an impassioned and compelling keynote address by William (Bill) Bratton, former police commissioner of the NYPD twice, the BPD, and former chief of the LAPD, on the history of policing in America and the evolution of critical communication capabilities in our post 9/11 landscape.

The event featured an impassioned and compelling keynote address by William J. Bratton, former police commissioner of the New York Police Department (NYPD) twice, the Boston Police Department (BPD), and former chief of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), as he walked attendees through 50 years of American policing history, the impacts on the communities, and the evolution of critical communication capabilities in our post 9/11 landscape.

Commissioner Bratton, one of the world’s most respected and trusted experts on risk and security issues and Executive Chairman of Teneo Risk a global advisory firm, was recognized as the ‘2019 ‘ASTORS’ Person of the Year’ for his Lifetime of Dedication and Extraordinary Leadership in Homeland Security and Public Safety.

Why the ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program?

2019 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Luncheon at ISC East

American Security Today’s comprehensive Annual Homeland Security Awards Program is organized to recognize the most distinguished vendors of physical, IT, port security, law enforcement, and first responders, in acknowledgment of their outstanding efforts to ‘Keep our Nation Secure, One City at a Time.’

Over 200 distinguished guests representing Federal, State and Local Governments, and Industry Leading Corporate Firms, gathered from across North America, Europe and the Middle East to be honored among their peers in their respective fields which included: 

  • The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
  • National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)
  • United States Marine Corps
  • The Federal Protective Service (FPS)
  • Argonne National Laboratory (ANL)
  • United States Postal Inspection Service
  • DHS S&T 
  • United States Marshals Service (USMS)
  • The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey Police (PAPD)
  • The Department of Justice (DOJ)
  • The New York State Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services (NYS DHSES)
  • United States Border Patrol
  • AlertMedia, Ameristar Perimeter Security, Attivo Networks, Automatic Systems, Bellevue University, BriefCam, Canon U.S.A., CornellCookson, Drone Aviation, FLIR Systems, Hanwha Techwin, HID Global, IPVideo Corp., Konica Minolta Business Solutions, LenelS2, ManTech, Regroup Mass Notifications, SafeLogic, SolarWinds, Senstar, ShotSpotter, Smiths Detection, TCOM LP, Trackforce, Verint, and More!

From innovative Military Cyber Programs, to LocalState and Federal Public Safety and Emergency Management Initiatives, New Physical and IT Products and Services, and Security Professional, Threat Assessment, Emergency Preparedness, Law Enforcement and Homeland Security Education and Training Opportunities – Join your ‘ASTORS’ Award-Winning Peers and Receive the Recognition You Deserve!

Excellence in Public Safety and Government Security Award Nominations are also being accepted, such as 2019 Honored Winners which includes the DEAU.S. Marine CorpsDHS S&TFederal Protective ServiceDHS S&T NUSTLU.S. Marshals ServiceU.S. Border PatrolThe Port Authority of NY/NJ, and the NYS Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services.

Individuals are also encouraged to be nominated for Government Excellence in Public Safety and Homeland Security such as last years widely respected recipients.

Why American Security Today?

The traditional security marketplace has long been covered by a host of publications putting forward the old school basics to what is Today – a fast changing security landscape.

The traditional security marketplace has long been covered by a host of publications putting forward the old school basics to what is Today – a fast changing security landscape.

American Security Today is uniquely focused on the broader Homeland Security & Public Safety marketplace with over 75,000 readers at the Federal, State and local levels of government as well as firms allied to government.

American Security Today brings forward a fresh compelling look and read with our customized digital publications that hold readers eyes throughout the story with cutting edge editorial that provides solutions to their challenges.

Harness the Power of the Web – with our 100% Mobile Friendly Publications

AST puts forward the Largest and Most Qualified Circulation in Government with Over 75,000 readers on the Federal, State and Local levels.
AST puts forward the Largest and Most Qualified Circulation in Government with Over 75,000 readers on the Federal, State and Local levels.

The AST Digital Publications is distributed to over 75,000 qualified government and homeland security professionals in federal, state and local levels.


AST Reaches both Private & Public Experts, essential to meeting these new challenges.

Today’s new generation of public safety and security experts need real-time knowledge to deal with domestic and international terrorism, lone wolf attacks, unprecedented urban violence, shifts in society, culture and media bias – making it increasingly difficult for Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, First Responders, Military and Private Security Professionals to implement coordinated security measures to ensure national security and improve public safety.

American Security Today

These experts are from Government at the federal, state and local level as well as from private firms allied to government.

AST provides a full plate of topics in our AST Monthly Magazine Editions, AST Website and AST Daily News Alerts, covering 23 Vital Sectors such as Access Control, Perimeter Protection, Video Surveillance/Analytics, Airport Security, Border Security, CBRNE Detection, Border Security, Ports, Cybersecurity, Networking Security, Encryption, Law Enforcement, First Responders, Campus Security, Security Services, Corporate Facilities, and Emergency Response among others.

AST has Expanded readership into integral Critical Infrastructure audiences such as Protection of Nuclear Facilities, Water Plants & Dams, Bridges & Tunnels, and other potential targets of terrorism.

Other areas of concern include Transportation Hubs, Public Assemblies, Government Facilities, Sporting & Concert Stadiums, our Nation’s Schools & Universities, and Commercial Business Destinations – all enticing targets due to the large number of persons and resources clustered together.

To learn more about the 2019 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Award Winners solutions, please go to the 2019 ‘ASTORS’ Championship Edition Fully Interactive Magazine – the Best Products of 2019 ‘A Year in Review’.

The ‘ASTORS’ Champion Edition is published annually and includes a review of the ‘ASTORS’ Award Winning products and programs, highlighting key details on many of the winning firms products and services, includes video interviews and more.

It is your Go-To source throughout the year for ‘The Best of 2019 Products and Services‘ endorsed by American Security Today, and can satisfy your agency’s and organization’s most pressing Homeland Security and Public Safety needs.

From Physical Security (Access Control, Critical Infrastructure, Perimeter Protection and Video Surveillance Cameras and Video Management Systems), to IT Security (Cybersecurity, Encryption, Data Storage, Anti-Malware and Networking Security – Just to name a few), the 2019 ‘ASTORS’ CHAMPIONS EDITION will have what you need to Detect, Delay, Respond to, and Mitgate today’s real-time threats in our constantly evolving security landscape.

It also includes featured guest editorial pieces from some of the security industry’s most respected leaders, and recognized firms in the 2019 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program.

For information about advertising opportunities with American Security Today, please contact Michael Madsen, AST Publisher at

AST strives to meet a 3 STAR trustworthiness rating, based on the following criteria:

  • Provides named sources
  • Reported by more than one notable outlet
  • Includes supporting video, direct statements, or photos

Subscribe to the AST Daily News Alert Here.