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Seminole man accused of sexual abuse after child porn raid

SEMINOLE — A 45-year-old man has been jailed on charges of sexual battery on a child.

The arrest Wednesday by Pinellas County sheriff's detectives may be just the start of Michael Joseph Charniak's legal troubles.

Charniak's home at 7909 86th Way N was raided by local, state and federal investigators looking into allegations that he trafficked in child pornography and tried to lure children online, authorities said.

They served a federal search warrant at the home at 7 a.m., authorities said, after Tampa agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement got a tip that Charniak disclosed online that he has sexually abused children.

Investigators said they seized computers and are checking to see if anything illegal is stored on them.

During that investigation, sheriff's detectives said, they discovered a child who said Charniak had sexually abused her.

The identity of the girl, how she knew Charniak and her exact age were not disclosed, but she is between 12 and 18.

Charniak told detectives that he was a coach for the Osceola Youth Soccer Association, a club and recreational league.

Detectives said he did not meet the girl through the soccer club.

However, association president Arley Bedillion said that while Charniak was a parent in the league he hasn't coached there since last year.

Charniak was held without bail at the Pinellas County Jail.

Authorities asked anyone with information about Charniak to contact Detective Kurt Romanosky at (727) 582-6418. Immigration and Customs Enforcement also has a tip line for anyone who wants to report child predators or suspicious activities. Call toll-free, 1-866-347-2423.

Seminole man accused of sexual abuse after child porn raid 10/29/09 [Last modified: Thursday, October 29, 2009 10:59pm]
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