News and Press Releases

Australian National Sentenced to Prison for Child Enticement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 18, 2013

ATLANTA - Geoffrey William Hine, who traveled to Georgia to have a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl, has been sentenced on charges of child enticement.

“This office will continue to aggressively pursue individuals who seek to exploit young children, including those who travel here from foreign countries for this purpose,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.  “Engaging in sexual acts with children is a vile and violent act, and perpetrators will be held accountable for this reprehensible conduct.”

Ricky Maxwell, Acting Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated: “The sentencing of Hine, an Australian national, ensures that there will be one less dangerous child predator among us.  This was a unique international based child exploitation case that not only speaks to the ambitious state of mind of a predator but also to the determination of law enforcement at all levels and jurisdictions to work together in apprehending these individuals. The FBI will continue to dedicate significant investigative resources toward identifying, investigating, and presenting for prosecution those that prey on and exploit our children.”

According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court:  In August 2011, Hine began a Facebook “relationship” with a  14-year-old girl who lived in Rome, Ga.  At the time, Hine was a 33-year-old citizen of Australia.  Hine and the girl had numerous online and phone conversations over the next few months.  Hine even sent the girl's grandmother money on several occasions.  Hine and the 14-year-old then planned a trip for him to come to the United States, specifically to visit her in Rome, Ga.  Hine asked the girl if she would sleep in the same bed with him and engage in sexual activity when he visited.  Hine continued to send sexually explicit texts to the young girl describing the sexual acts he intended to do with her.  When Hine arrived in the U.S. on April 14, 2012, FBI agents met his plane at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and arrested him.

Hine, 35, of Western Australia, was sentenced to ten years in prison, to be followed by 30 years of supervised release.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Floyd County Police Department.

Assistant United States Attorney Cassandra J. Schansman prosecuted the case.

This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, the Attorney General launched Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse.  Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices around the country, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the home page for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division is http://www.justice.gov/usao/gan/.

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