Man Who Trafficked Teen From Australia to Queens Sentenced

By Jonathan Sperling

A Jamaica man will spend more than three decades in prison after he was convicted on charges related to his exploitation of a 16-year-old Australian girl, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York announced on Friday

Sean Price, 40 established an online relationship with the unidentified girl in the fall of 2016 and soon began communicating with her regularly through Facebook. Much of their correspondence revolved around Price’s desire to have sex with the girl, and that she could travel from Australia to New York without being caught by her parents or law enforcement, according to court filings.

Facebook chat records obtained by investigators showed that Price, who was 39 at the time, often discussed the girl’s age and expressed repeatedly that he was interested in being intimate with her.

Price engaged the victim, 16, using social media. Photo by  Maurizio Pesce/Flickr

Price engaged the victim, 16, using social media. Photo by Maurizio Pesce/Flickr

“Sean Price preyed upon the vulnerabilities of a young teenage girl, luring her across the world and away from her home for his own illicit purposes. With today’s sentence Price has been accountable for that predatory conduct,” Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement. “The Price case sends the message that this Office, together with our law enforcement partners, will work tirelessly to identify abusers like Price and prosecute those who would sexually exploit minors to the fullest extent of the law.”

Price and the girl also discussed getting a fake passport for the girl and volunteered to impersonate her father so that she could fly internationally.

Eventually, after months of planning, Price wired the girl $900 to fly to Los Angeles, where he met her and drove with her on a cross country trip to Queens, during which they were involved sexually, according to court filings. NYPD officers later found the girl in Price’s home and returned her to family members in Australia.

“Now a convicted sexual predator, Sean Price admittedly lured a teenage girl from Australia to Queens, taking advantage of her young spirit and susceptibility,” stated Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent-in-Charge Angel M. Melendez. “Today’s sentencing should send a strong message to those who seek to sexually exploit children – borders and oceans will not impede the efforts of the global law enforcement community in safeguarding our children and bringing predators to face justice.”

Price was sentenced to 35 years in prison at a federal court in Brooklyn after he was convicted in December 2017 of four charges: interstate and foreign enticement to engage in sexual activity, interstate and foreign transportation of a minor to engage in sexual activity, a Mann Act violation and attempted sexual exploitation of a child.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Taryn A. Merkl and Monica K. Castro. Assistant United States Attorney Karin Orenstein of the Office’s Civil Division is in charge of the forfeiture.