Karate instructor convicted for child pornography
A federal jury has convicted a 60-year-old Lumberton, Texas man of child pornography violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales on Firday, Feb. 28.
Ronald Seabridge, Sr., owner of Brass Dragon Karate, was found guilty on Feb. 27, 2014, of receiving, distributing and possessing child pornography following a four-day trial before U.S. District Judge Thad Heartfield.
According to information presented in court, in 2009, federal agents executed a search warrant at Seabridge’s residence/karate studio in Lumberton as the result of an undercover operation which determined Seabridge was using a peer-to-peer file sharing program to receive and distribute child pornography. Seabridge’s computer and hard drives were seized and a forensic examination revealed over 300 images of child pornography.
Seabridge was indicted by a federal grand jury on May 23, 2013.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
Seabridge faces a minimum of five years and up to 25 years in federal prison for receiving and distributing child pornography and up to 10 years in federal prison for the possession charge. A sentencing date has not been set. Seabridge was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal immediately following the verdict.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Lumberton Police Department, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Randall L. Fluke and Christopher T. Tortorice.