COCOA BEACH, Fla. - Eric Albert Seiden, 45, of Miami, was sentenced Thursday to 11 years and three months in federal prison and 20 years of supervised release for using the Internet to entice a minor under the age of 18 to engage in sexual activity. Seiden was also ordered to pay $41,600 to the minor male victim of his crime, which he has paid in full, and to pay a fine in the amount of $250,000.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Brevard County Sheriff's Office.
"This case reveals a disturbing truth that some adults will go to great lengths to sexually exploit children," said Susan McCormick, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Tampa, Fla. "His sentencing should serve as a warning to other would-be child predators. Identifying and investigating those who victimize children is one of the most important responsibilities we have, and that is why ICE will continue working aggressively with our state, local and federal partners on these types of cases."
Seiden pleaded guilty on Aug. 18 to beginning an online relationship in September 2008 with a minor male victim, who was less than 16-years-old. The online contacts included conversations over the Internet regarding sex and meeting in person. In those conversations, Seiden often requested the victim to send images of them to him.
Seiden sent images to the minor of himself, including an image of his erect penis after ejaculation that Seiden sent to him on Feb. 1, 2009. In early June 2009, the minor advised Seiden via the Internet that his parents were going to be out of town. Seiden suggested that they meet.
On June 19, 2009, the minor told Seiden that he would meet with him. Seiden drove from South Florida and checked in at a Hampton Inn Hotel in Brevard County.
On June 20, 2009, Seiden picked him up near his residence, and they drove to the Hampton Inn. While in the room, Seiden and the minor engaged in sexual conduct.
This case 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.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carlos A. Perez.