FORT LAUDERDALE MAN CONVICTED ON 1974 AND 1977 CHILD ENTICEMENT AND TRANSPORTATION CHARGES
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Field Office, announce yesterday’s conviction of defendant George Joseph England, 66, of Fort Lauderdale, on three counts of enticement of a minor and two counts of transportation of a minor from Asia to California in 1974 and from California to Florida in 1977 for the purpose of having the minor engage in sexual acts. Sentencing for England is scheduled for March 24, 2011 before U.S. District Court Judge Jose A. Gonzalez. He faces a maximum sentence of thirty years imprisonment.
According to the indictment and evidence presented at trial, England met the victim in Vietnam in the early 1970's when the victim was approximately four years old. Soon thereafter, England travelled with the victim to Thailand and India, where they lived for approximately two years. While there, England sexually assaulted the victim repeatedly. He also taught her to never trust the police and warned her that without him she would be forced into a life of prostitution.
In or around 1974, England transported the victim to Costa Mesa, California, where they lived for the next three years. While in California, England continued to sexually assault the victim. England also encouraged the victim to invite her friends to spend the night in their motor home. England mounted a Plexiglas box with a hidden camera in the bathroom of the motor home so that he could watch the victim and her friends in the bathtub. He also took nude photos of the young girls.
On October 20, 1977, England was convicted by a California jury of molesting three of the victim’s friends, ages nine to ten years old. After the verdict, England fled to northern California with the then 10-year old victim. While in northern California, England obtained the birth certificate of a child named Steven Arthur Seagoe who had died soon after childbirth. England then assumed Seagoe’s identity. England also gave the victim a new name before boarding a bus bound for Ft. Lauderdale. An arrest warrant was issued for his arrest when he failed to appear for sentencing in the California case.
According to evidence presented during the trial, soon after arriving in Ft. Lauderdale, England continued to sexually assault the victim almost daily. He also drilled a hole in the wall of the victim’s bedroom and watched from an adjacent bathroom the victim engage in sexual activity with her friends. In 1980, the victim became pregnant at that age of 13. She gave birth to child in September of 1981. DNA tests confirmed that England is the biological father of that child. The defendant impregnated the victim several more times over the course of the next 4 years. The defendant instructed the victim to terminate each pregnancy by getting an abortion. According to the victim, the last abortion occurred in 1986 when she was 18 years old. Soon thereafter, the victim warned England that she would kill herself if he did not stop molesting her. The victim moved out of England’s residence when she got married in 1988. She terminated all contact with him in 1994.
In 2004, the victim disclosed the abuse to the FBI and provided information on England’s alias to assist law enforcement in arresting him on the outstanding California arrest warrant from 1977. On May 18, 2005, agents from the Diplomatic Security Service and Department of Homeland Security arrested England at his home in Ft. Lauderdale. He was charged with having obtained a passport in his false name. In July 2005, England pled guilty to passport fraud. He was later sentenced to 14 months’ imprisonment.
After serving the passport fraud sentence, England was extradited to California and sentenced to three consecutive terms of three years to life imprisonment on the 1977 child molestation case from which he had fled to Ft. Lauderdale. After serving almost four years of that sentence, he was scheduled to be released from jail in California on March 12, 2010. Prior to his release, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida filed a complaint charging England with offenses related to his enticement and transportation of the victim.
U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer stated, “Yesterday’s guilty verdict brings to an end this international decades-long tragedy of child abuse and exploitation. Although nothing can restore a child’s lost innocence, we hope that the verdict will at least help heal deep wounds and provide victims of abuse with hope and trust in our justice system.”
John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Miami Office stated, “George England adopted a helpless child so he could control and rape her at his whim. Despite the passage of time, it took incredible strength for the victim to come forward and share her ordeal. Nothing can bring back her innocence but the guilty verdict brings some justice to her and the other victims of England’s violent and unforgivable crimes.”
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Diplomatic Security Service and Department of Homeland Security. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark Dispoto and Corey Steinberg.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.