Lumberton karate instructor sentenced for child pornography violations

Seabridge and home

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Randall L. Fluke and Christopher T. Tortorice secured a nearly 20 year prison sentence for Ronald Seabridge Sr., the 60-year-old owner of Lumberton’s Brass Dragon Karate, who was found guilty by a jury Feb. 27, 2014, of receiving, distributing and possessing child pornography. Seabridge was sentenced to 235 months in federal prison for child pornography violations in the Eastern District of Texas on Oct. 28, 2014 by U.S. District Judge Thad Heartfield, according to an announcement by U.S. Attorney John M. Bales.

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 more than 300 images of child pornography. Seabridge was indicted by a federal grand jury on May 23, 2013.

Several parents of students from Brass Dragon said they were not notified of the charges brought against Seabridge, aka Kyoto Ron Seabridge, and even now are unsure as to the circumstances surrounding their children’s previous instructor. A parent who wished to remain anonymous said, “I think it’s absolutely astonishing the parents were not made aware of the predator they are leaving their children with. I do feel as though the authorities should have notified the parents of the children when the charges were brought up.”

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, visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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. 

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