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Child Exploitation

Former Orange County investigator sentenced for child pornography

ORLANDO, Fla. - An Orlando man was sentenced to more than four years in prison for child pornography possession following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Sean Peters, 39, was sentenced on Jan. 15 to 52 months in federal prison and a lifetime of supervised release. The court also ordered Peters to forfeit his computer and hard drive, which were used to commit the offense. On Oct. 16, 2009, Peters was found guilty following a jury trial in U.S. District Court in Orlando.

From 2001 to 2007, Peters was employed as an Investigator in the Orange County State's Attorney's Office. In June 2007. He resigned from the State Attorney's Office when ICE special agents began investigating this case.

ICE special agents discovered Peters's credit card had been used to fund a PayPal account in his name and that the account had been used to purchase access to websites distributing child pornography.

On June 15, 2007, ICE special agents conducted a search of Peters's house and seized his computer and a CD in Peters's bedroom.

ICE special agents conducted a forensic analysis of the CD and computer's hard drive and discovered hundreds of images of child pornography both in various subfolders and in the recycle bin. Also, installed and re-installed on Peters's computer was a software application for a newsgroup called NovusNews that contained subfolders with titles such as "adolescents"; "erotica.pictures.young;" "pictures.erotica.early-teen;" "pictures.erotica.young.orientals;" and "pictures.lolita."

Forensic analysis of the CD disclosed hundreds of images of child pornography stored on the disk.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who prey on children, including human traffickers, international sex tourists, Internet pornographers, and foreign-national predators whose crimes make them deportable. ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Bruce S. Ambrose.