Former DOJ attorney sentenced to 10 years for attempted sex with minor

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 4:21pm

A former U.S. Department of Justice attorney was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison last week for attempting to engage a minor in sexual activity.

Karl Norman Gellert, 48, was living in Bellevue when he communicated online with an undercover agent who he believed was an 11-year-old girl. He talked to the agent about meeting the minor for sex.

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee Judge William J. Haynes Jr. sentenced him to 10 years for the offense, followed by 20 years of supervised release. Gellert, who until 2009 was an attorney at the DOJ in Washington, D.C., will have to register as sex offender as part of his sentence.

According to the pleas agreement, Gellert’s online conversations with the undercover agent began in April 2012 and continued through June 2012, during which he instructed his would-be victim (the agent) on engaging in sexual activities and provided pornographic images.

Gellert later asked if the “girl” wanted to have sex with him in person and eventually began communicating online whom he believed to be the child’s mother, but who was the same undercover agent. Prosecutors said Gellert told the person he thought was the child’s mother what to do to prepare the girl for his sexual encounter with her.