A Connecticut man will spend more than a decade in prison after he was caught trying to pay to sexually abuse a child.
Hartford County resident Robert Sellers, age 62, of Bristol, was sentenced in federal court in Hartford on Friday, May 20, to 13 years behind bars.
It came three months after he pleaded guilty to one count of attempted coercion and enticement of a minor, and one count of distribution of child pornography, according to the US Attorney’s Office in Connecticut.
The FBI began targeting Sellers on the social media app Kik in November 2020 after getting tipped off that he was sharing videos of child sex abuse online, prosecutors said.
He reportedly told an undercover agent that he had sexually abused children in the past and had trafficked a child to engage in commercial sex acts, according to prosecutors.
Sellers also admitted to traveling out of state to sexually abuse another 12-year-old girl, prosecutors said.
When the undercover agent told him that he had a 12-year-old daughter, Sellers brought up the idea of trafficking her for sex and explained how exactly to go about doing so, prosecutors said.
According to investigators, Sellers made arrangements with the agent to engage in sex acts with the young girl in exchange for $200.
He also sent the agent a link to videos of child sex abuse that he kept on a file sharing website, prosecutors said.
Sellers was finally arrested in February 2021 after he paid the agent the $200 and showed up to a motel in the Town of Southington to engage in sex acts with the girl, according to prosecutors.
He pleaded guilty a year later.
In addition to his time behind bars, Sellers was also ordered to complete 15 years of supervised release.
The case was prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood Initiative, a coordinated effort between local, state, and federal agencies to track down individuals who exploit children using the internet.
Suspected cases of child exploitation can be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children on its website.
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