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Child Exploitation

Illinois man to serve 35 years in federal prison for sexually exploiting children

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – A local man was sentenced Wednesday to 35 years in federal prison for sexually exploiting children and possessing child pornography. This lengthy sentence resulted from an investigation conducted by the following agencies: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); the Champaign County (Illinois) Sheriff's Office; the Department of Justice for the State of Oregon; London, Ontario, Canada Police Services; and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Ronald Alan Seiver, 31, of Roseville, Ill., was sentenced Nov. 30 by U.S. District Judge James E. Shadid, Central District of Illinois. Judge Shadid ordered Seiver to serve consecutive sentences of 10 years for possessing child pornography, and 25 years for sexually exploiting children. Seiver was also ordered to remain on supervised release for the remainder of his life after he completes his prison sentence.

According to information presented in court, Seiver came to the attention of law enforcement in January 2010 after Canadian law enforcement agents received a report that images of child pornography had been uploaded to an Internet site. The case was referred to ICE HSI for investigation.

Investigators identified Seiver as the Internet subscriber, and on Aug. 24, 2010, they executed a search warrant at Seiver's residence. During the execution of the search warrant agents recovered 119 images and 34 video files of child pornography, including images of children in bondage and children under the age of 12.

During Wednesday's sentencing hearing, Judge Shadid found that Seiver qualified for sentencing enhancements for engaging in patterns of activity involving prohibited sexual conduct. The government presented evidence that Seiver engaged in sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl whom he photographed and/or videotaped. On at least three other occasions he produced child pornography with three different girls by coaxing them to take and send him nude images and videos of themselves. The court also found that further enhancements applied to Seiver for possessing materials involving prepubescent minors, possessing materials portraying sadistic or masochistic conduct, and using a computer to commit the offense.

"The defendant caused real harm to young people. Law enforcement made sure that this stopped, and the court's 35-year sentence makes sure that the defendant is held fully accountable, and that he cannot do this again for a long, long time," said U.S. Attorney Jim Lewis, Central District of Illinois.

"This significant prison sentence clearly demonstrates the consequences that await predators who sexually exploit innocent children," said Gary Hartwig, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Chicago. "In collaboration with our law enforcement partners in the U.S. and abroad, we will use every available resource to pursue individuals like Mr. Seiver who prey upon the most vulnerable segment of our society – our children."

Seiver has remained in U.S. Marshals Service custody since his Aug. 24, 2010 arrest. Seiver pleaded guilty to the charges on May 13.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael D. McCoy, Central District of Illinois, prosecuted the case.

This investigation is part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline 1-866-DHS-2ICE and its online tip form. Both are 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.