(Natural News) The 59-year-old CEO of a global food distribution company worth billions of dollars has been arrested for child sex trafficking.
Ian Charles Schenkel, who served as the CEO of the Haliburton International Foods company based in Ontario, California, is now facing six felony counts of unlawful sexual intercourse involving a minor and two misdemeanor charges of soliciting prostitution of a minor. Schenkel is facing a maximum sentence of eight years in state prison and two years in country jail.
Meanwhile, 22-year-old Amanda Emilia Perez was charged with six felony counts related to facilitating the prostitution of minors. She is facing a maximum sentence of nearly 15 years in state prison.
Schenkel first came to the attention of authorities in October when a man reported to police that his daughter had inappropriate contact with him that was sexual in nature. The girl told the police that Perez took her to meet men, including Schenkel and others, who paid for sex with her; Perez kept a cut of the money. A second teenage girl was also reportedly brought to Schenkel for sex as well. Perez is currently free on a $70,000 bond.
The victims are reportedly aged 15 and 16, and Schenkel had sexual contact with them on seven occasions between January and October of last year.
On Friday, Schenkel resigned from Haliburton International Foods, a company he founded in 1992. Their financial advisor, Dan Glick, was appointed as his replacement. Schenkel is currently free on a $100,000 bond and is set for arraignment next month. This is not the CEO’s first run-in with the law; he also has an open case of driving under the influence from last November and an open hit-and-run and driving on a suspended license case from January.
Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said: “The exploitation of children for sex acts shocks the public conscience. It is reprehensible and it is unlawful. We will prosecute this case to the fullest extent of the law, and we will work to ensure the judicial system protects these vulnerable victims.”
Child sex trafficking is disturbingly common
As shocking as cases like this are, they are disturbingly common. It is estimated that one out of every 10 children will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old. According to the Free Thought Project, this means that around 400,000 of the babies born in the U.S. this year will statistically grow up to become victims of child sexual abuse unless something is done to deter this behavior and hold perpetrators accountable.
Operations this summer and fall throughout the country carried out by law enforcement agencies like the U.S. Marshals have led to the recovery of more than 100 endangered and missing children, many of whom had become victims of human trafficking.
While saving even one child from these horrors is excellent news, there are still many other disgusting human beings out there who continue to abuse and exploit children. Will the calls we are currently seeing for defunding police leave law enforcement with fewer resources to go after these people and rescue their victims?
Sources for this article include: