SANTA ANA, Calif. – A former youth recreational soccer coach was sentenced Friday to eight years and eight months in state prison and mandatory lifetime sex offender registration for coercing teenage girls into sending him sexually explicit videos of themselves after meeting in an online chat room.
Robert Vincent Peace, 45, of Lake Forest, Calif., pleaded guilty in court to lewd acts on a child, lewd acts on a child under 14, contacting a child with intent to commit a lewd act, using a minor for sex acts, possession and control of child pornography, using a minor for distribution of obscene material, and possession and control of child pornography, with a sentencing enhancement allegation for substantial sexual conduct with a child. Peace was a former youth recreational soccer coach.
The case is the result of a probe by federal and state investigators on the Orange County Child Exploitation Task Force (OCCETF), which includes U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD), the Huntington Beach Police Department (HBPD) and the Newport Beach Police Department. The prosecution was handled by the Orange County District Attorney's Office.
"This defendant preyed on the most innocent and vulnerable members of our society, our children," said Claude Arnold, special agent in charge of HSI Los Angeles. "HSI special agents will continue to work closely with our partners on the Orange County Child Exploitation Task Force, using every tool at our disposal to investigate the perpetrators of these heinous crimes and bring them to justice."
In 2009, Peace met 13-year-old Jane Doe #1, from Endicott, N.Y., in an Internet video-chat room on Stickam.com. He exchanged messages with the victim, and over a period of two years, instructed her to send him sexually explicit videos of herself masturbating. After receiving the videos, Peace threatened to post them on the Internet if she stopped sending new pornographic images. Without the victim's knowledge, he posted some of the videos featuring Jane Doe #1 online.
In February 2011, a family member of the defendant discovered some of the child pornography and turned over Peace's portable hard drive to OCSD. The OCCETF launched an investigation and the hard drive was submitted to the Orange County Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory (OCRCFL) for analysis. Through that forensic analysis, investigators discovered thousands of images of child pornography and learned of the 13-year-old victim in New York.
Peace was arrested Jan. 20 in a traffic stop by HBPD, HSI and OCSD and was accused of being in possession of additional images of child pornography in his home and vehicle, including images of Jane Doe #1.
Following Peace's arrest, additional forensic analysis on his computer identified the second victim, a 14-year-old from Virginia he allegedly met on Stickam.com. Peace was accused of communicating with Jane Doe #2, and instructing her to send him sexually explicit videos of herself engaging in lewd acts over a two-year period, beginning in 2009.
At the sentencing, Jane Doe #2's father gave an impact statement to the court, saying in part, "I find it very difficult to comprehend how he could have such deliberate intent and forethought to prey on these young girls for his own sick pleasure. Our lives have been irreparably broken by this man."
Peace is the 22nd defendant to be identified and arrested by OCCETF since its inception in April, 2011. The OCCETF is a law enforcement collaboration aimed at information-sharing and investigations to arrest and prosecute child pornographers, child sex tourists and facilitators, human smugglers and traffickers of minors, criminal aliens convicted of offenses against minors, and aliens deported for child exploitation offenses who have returned illegally to the Unites States.