Jacob Paul Bermel, 39, of Muscatine, was sentenced on Monday to 300 months – 25 years – in prison after his plea to charges of production and possession of child pornography.
Bermel was ordered to pay $3,000 in restitution to each of his four victims, totaling $12,000, a news release says.
The investigation into Bermel began when law enforcement received a report of a hidden camera in a bathroom of his house. The investigation revealed that Bermel made recordings that contained child pornography.
Further, Bermel had been downloading and uploading child pornography from the internet and on social media applications for many years. Two cybertips were received by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, indicating that a social media account associated with Bermal uploaded images of teenage girls.
U. S. Attorney Richard D. Westphal of the Southern District of Iowa made the announcement. The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case., which was prosecuted by the U. S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa as part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Childhood” initiative. That was started in 2006 as a nationwide effort to combine law enforcement investigations and prosecutions, community action, and public awareness in order to reduce the incidence of sexual exploitation of children.
Any persons having knowledge of a child being sexually abused are encouraged to call the Iowa Sexual Abuse Hotline at 1-800-284-7821, the release says.