A disgraced Navy SEAL was sentenced Thursday to 27 years in federal prison for recording himself molesting a sleeping child.
Gregory Kyle Seerden, who was a member of SEAL Team 1 in San Diego, faces the possibility of even more time in prison. He is charged with molesting another child in 2014 in California, and a Navy spokesman said military authorities are reviewing evidence and considering other unspecified charges.
“Instead of being a protector, Seerden was a predator who attacked a sleeping 5-year-old child,” Cliff Everton, special agent in charge of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service’s Norfolk Field Office, said in a statement. “He is the antithesis of every value the military services hold dear.”
Seerden, 32, pleaded guilty in September in U.S. District Court in Norfolk to producing child pornography.
The charge stemmed from an NCIS investigation into unrelated allegations that he sexually assaulted a woman. He has not been charged in that case.
A woman reported that Seerden raped her in January 2017 inside the Navy Gateway Inns and Suites at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story. The woman said she went out drinking with Seerden and began blacking out. She remembered only that Seerden was on top of her in his hotel room and that she told him to stop.
Seerden was in Norfolk for training at the time, court documents said.
NCIS agents got permission from Seerden’s commanding officer in California to search his smartphone and found 78 photos and four videos of prepubescent children engaged in sex acts, court documents said.
The agents determined the videos were created Jan. 2 with Seerden’s phone. They showed a man, later identified as Seerden, touching a sleeping 5-year-old girl with his penis, court documents said. The abuse did not happen in Virginia, but Seerden was prosecuted in federal court here because it’s where the illegal images were discovered.
In court documents, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney David Layne said Seerden’s infatuation with underage children could stem from his own past: He told investigators he was sexually abused as a child by a cousin and by someone he knew through Boy Scouts.
Later, Layne wrote in a court document, Seerden was exposed to drugs and sexual activity by his mother’s girlfriend and his father’s ex-wife.
But Layne said a “troubled childhood” is no excuse for what Seerden did to his victim. In documents seeking a maximum 30-year sentence, the prosecutor said Seerden faces charges in California for a “strikingly similar” 2014 incident. A 7-year-old family member alleged he touched her with his “boy part” and took a picture, according to the prosecutor.
Layne said NCIS investigated the allegation at the time, but no charges were filed then because the child’s mother was reluctant to pursue the case.