Haines man sentenced for sexual exploitation of minors

FastCast digital headlines for Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023.
Published: Feb. 9, 2023 at 2:39 PM AKST
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Content Warning: This article contains information about alleged sexual exploitation that might be difficult for some readers.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A man who moved to Haines in 2015 has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for sexually exploiting minor victims.

According to a release from the U.S. Department of Justice District of Alaska, 41-year-old Christopher Panagiotou-Scigliano offered a guilty plea to one count of production of child pornography, which involved “coercing a minor to engage in sexually explicit content for the purpose of producing child pornography.”

The release says that Panagiotou-Scigliano also has pending cases in another state where he is charged with the sexual abuse of numerous children. The department reported that the Bonner County, Idaho Sherriff’s Office, and Bonner County Prosecutor’s Office assisted Alaska State Troopers, the Haines Police Department and the FBI Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force with the investigation.

“In this unconscionable case, the defendant engaged in a years-long manipulation and grooming process to isolate and sexually abuse minors, all under the guise of being a trusted family friend,” Special Agent in Charge Antony Jung of the FBI Anchorage Field Office said. “The FBI and our law enforcement partners will continue to identify, aggressively pursue, and hold accountable those who commit these vile crimes against children.”

According to the release, Panagiotou-Scigliano moved to a farm in Haines in 2015 and “arranged for several children he had been grooming and abusing in another state to visit his farm in Haines multiple times. When the children arrived Panangiotou-Scigliano continued grooming and sexually exploiting them by taking numerous sexually explicit images of the victims.”

Panagiotou-Scigliano was indicted in August of 2021.

“This office will continue to vigorously prosecute heinous predatory crimes such as this,” United States Attorney for the District of Alaska S. Lane Tucker said. “Although no term of imprisonment can repair the harm caused to the victims, anyone engaging or thinking about engaging in grooming and sexual conduct with minors should take warning from this significant sentence.”

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, resources are available on the Standing Together Against Rape (STAR) website or by calling the statewide crisis hotline at 1-800-478-8999.

If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, resources are available on the Alaska Children’s Alliance and Alaska Children’s Trust websites. To report abuse or neglect, call the state’s hotline at 1-800-478-4444 or the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453.