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Child Exploitation

Washington man sentenced to 16 years for traveling to Oregon to have sex with a minor

PORTLAND, Ore. - A Seattle-area man who traveled to Oregon with the intent of having sexual contact with two young children was sentenced today to 16 years in federal prison and five years of supervised release, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

James E. Eggleston, 61, of Shoreline, Wash., had been employed as a patient service specialist at a Seattle-area hospital. He pleaded guilty in July to one count of interstate travel for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor.

Eggleston came to the attention of law enforcement after chatting online with someone he believed was the father of two young boys. He made arrangements to travel from his home to a motel in Portland where he expected to meet the boys for sex.

Eggleston made the trip to Portland by train on March 14, 2008, and checked into a motel. He then went to the motel lounge expecting to meet the boys' father.

Instead, Eggleston was arrested by agents with HSI. A subsequent search of his motel room turned up a variety of items including coloring books, a bag of candy, a substantial amount of child pornography and sex toys.

"This sentence is appropriate for someone who sought to rob young children of their innocence," said Leigh Winchell, special agent in charge of the ICE HSI office that oversees Oregon. "We will aggressively investigate and ensure that child predators are held accountable for this type of illegal behavior."

At the conclusion of his prison sentence, Eggleston will be required that he register as a sex offender. This case was prosecuted in the District of Oregon by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Fred Weinhouse and Gary Sussman.

This investigation was 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 at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. 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.