Justice served in a cold-case investigation of sexual abuse of minors at Lake Powell

An aerial view of boats in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area's Wahweep Marina. NPS photo.
An aerial view of boats in Wahweep Marina, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

NPS photo

News Release Date: July 27, 2015

Contact: Investigative Services Branch, (202) 379-4761

Justice served in a cold-case investigation of sexual abuse of minors at Lake Powell

A US District Judge handed down a strong sentence in July to a man who pleaded guilty to the sexual abuse of a minor. The judge and US Attorney also commended the ISB Special Agent who investigated the case for her determined efforts in bringing justice to the victims.

The special agent faced considerable challenges during the investigation; the abuse occurred in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area eight years before it was reported to law enforcement in 2010.

Despite the time lapse, the agent gathered evidence that Blain Arno Pannell engaged in sexual misconduct with two underage family members. The abuse started around 2002; in June of that year, Pannell took the juveniles out onto Lake Powell on his boat. After providing them with alcohol and marijuana, Pannell sexually abused them both.

"Today's outcome is a testament to the dedicated work of the National Park Service in diligently investigating a pattern of misconduct that had occurred many years earlier," said US Attorney John Leonardo. US Attorneys Patrick Schneider and Dimitra Sampson prosecuted the case.

Pannell is to serve 30 months in prison and is required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

ISB is on the web at www.nps.gov/isb 

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Last updated: December 1, 2015