ST. PETERSBURG, FL. – U.S. District Judge Thomas P. Barber has sentenced Eric James Templeton, 33, St. Petersburg, to 15 years in federal prison for attempting to entice and meet a 5-year-old child for sex.
Templeton was also ordered to serve a 15-year term of supervised release, to register as a sex offender, and to pay $11,700 in restitution.
According to court documents, from May 19 through May 21, 2020, Templeton engaged in online chats and text messaging with an individual whom he believed to be the mother of a 5-year-old child.
During those conversations, Templeton indicated to the “mother” (actually an undercover Homeland Security Investigations agent) his desire to meet and sexually abuse the child.
On May 21, 2020, Templeton agreed to meet the “mother” and her child for that purpose. Templeton arrived at the meeting location in Tampa and was arrested by HSI agents.
A search of Templeton discovered that he was carrying a bottle of lubricant and two lollipops.
“Thanks to the partnership between HSI special agents and the Pasco Sheriff’s Office, this child predator will now be behind bars,” said HSI Tampa Assistant Special Agent in Charge Micah McCombs.
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Erin Claire Favorit.
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