Man who drove from St. Louis to Owensboro to have sex with minor sentenced to 30 years in federal prison

A Missouri man has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison after traveling to Owensboro to meet a teenager for sex.

Christopher Bertolett, 54, was sentenced for violating federal child exploitation laws, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky.

Bertolett previously pled guilty to online enticement of a minor, transfer of obscene material to a minor, production of child pornography, and interstate travel to engage in illegal sexual activity.

In the change of plea hearing, Bertolett, who lived in St. Louis, admitted that in January 2021 he met a 14-year-old Owensboro girl through an online software application.

“The two communicated online between January 2021 and May 2021 on the ‘Say Hi’ app,” according to prosecutors, “(as) Bertolett and the girl discussed a variety of topics … including sexual activity. On or about February 4, 2021, Bertolett sent the girl pictures of his genitalia.”

He requested sexually explicit photos of her, as well, with police finding over a dozen such pictures of the victim on Bertolett’s phone.

On or about May 9, 2021, Bertolett rented a car and drove from Saint Louis to Owensboro where he met the girl, drove her to the Owensboro Fairfield Inn and had sex with her, prosecutors said.

He was arrested on May 10, 2021.

In addition to the 30-year prison sentence, Bertolett was ordered to pay the victim $10,000 in restitution. He was also ordered to serve a life term of supervised release after his release from prison.

By Ken Howlett, News Director

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