Minnesota man sexually exploited children outside U.S.: Charges

A southern Minnesota man has been indicted on charges of allegedly sexually exploiting children outside the U.S. throughout a five-month stretch.

Steven John Sokel, 61, of Blooming Prairie, allegedly coerced three minor girls between November 2021 and April 2022 to engage in sexual contact with the intent of reproducing it, and also aiding and abetting others in the process, according to court documents that say Sokel also possessed sexually explicit images and videos of minors.

Sokel is charged with two counts of sexual exploitation of children and one count of possession of child pornography, according to an announcement by U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger on Tuesday.

He is currently in custody pending a detention hearing after an initial appearance on April 19.