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July 28, 2020Orlando, FL, United StatesChild Exploitation

Repeat sexual predator receives 60-year sentence

ORLANDO – A Florida man was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison Monday for sexually exploiting two minors and committing the offenses while required to register as a sex offender. This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Cocoa Beach and the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.

The court also ordered Simmerman to forfeit the electronic device he used to commit the offenses. Simmerman pleaded guilty January 27, 2020.

According to court documents, in 2013 Todd Joseph Simmerman, 30, Titusville, pleaded guilty to traveling to meet a child to engage in unlawful sexual conduct, after using a computer to lure a child, in violation of Florida law. As part of his sentence, he was required to register as a sex offender. Six months after completing his state sentence, Simmerman met a 15-year-old on Snapchat and enticed the child to engage in sexual activity. The child victim introduced Simmerman to a 15-year-old friend and Simmerman also preyed upon that child. Simmerman used his cellphone to record his sexually abusive encounters with both victims, which occurred over a period of about five months, until his arrest.

“This repeated child predator will spend the rest of his natural life in prison, thanks to HSI special agents and our partners at the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office,” said HSI Orlando Assistant Special Agent in Charge David J. Pezzutti. “While we cannot undo the damage of his horrible crimes, we hope that this sentence helps with the healing process for his victims.”

The case was prosecuted by the office of United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez, Middle District Florida, Assistant United States Attorney Karen L. Gable.

This investigation was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 25,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child exploitation material, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2019, more than 3,500 child predators were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 1,000 victims identified or rescued.

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.

For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI’s Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page. HSI is a founding member of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.

Updated: 07/28/2020