Jacksonville, Florida – U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard has sentenced Ethan Rabin Coleman (33, Green Cove Springs) to six years and eight months in federal prison for distributing videos of children being sexually abused. The court also ordered Coleman serve a five-year term of supervised release and pay $31,000 to victims of his offenses. Coleman entered a guilty plea October 20, 2022.
According to court documents, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents in Jacksonville received information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) that four files depicting child sexual abuse had been uploaded over the internet on January 6, 2021. The report indicated that the upload of the files came from an account with the username of “bige1131990,” an associated email address, and an IP (Internet Protocol) address that traced back to an address in Green Cove Springs. After reviewing the files and upon further investigation, HSI agents and the Clay County Sheriff’s Office executed a federal search warrant at the residence on November 9, 2021. During the execution of the search warrant, agents encountered Coleman, who exited the residence holding a phone in his hand. An onsite preview of the phone yielded numerous files depicting the sexual abuse of children, including one of the files identified in the reported uploads.
During an interview with law enforcement, Coleman admitted that the associated email address belonged to him and acknowledged that he “got banned for some reason” from a social media account reported by NCMEC. At first, Coleman denied sending any child sexual abuse files over the social media application. When asked again, he acknowledged such files were shared in a group to which he belonged. Further, Coleman admitted to viewing the files on multiple occasions, downloading files showing children being sexually abused from a file-sharing application onto his phone, sharing images with others, and acknowledged knowing the individuals depicted being sexually abused were young, including a file depicting the sexual assault of a toddler. When asked why he thought it was wrong, Coleman stated, “Because they’re little kids.”
“This predator, knowing it was images of children being sexually abused, decided to feed his perversion by collecting, viewing, and sharing the digital files many times over with others on the internet,” said Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Assistant Special Agent in Charge K. Jim Phillips. “Thanks to our partnership with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office and the efforts of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, we have pulled another predator offline and stopped him from his continued victimization of children.”
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Clay County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kelly S. Karase.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.