Earlier today in federal court in Brooklyn, Sean Price was sentenced to 35 years’ incarceration and 10 years’ supervised release by United States District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis, following his conviction after trial in December 2017 on 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. Restitution to Jane Doe’s guardians will be determined at a later date.
Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Angel M. Melendez, Special Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), New York, announced the sentence.
“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,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue. “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.” Mr. Donoghue expressed his appreciation to the Australian Federal Police, the New South Wales Police Force and the NYPD for their assistance in the investigation and prosecution of this matter, and commends the Australian authorities and the NYPD on the investigation and cooperation that ultimately led to the recovery of the missing girl.
“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 HSI Special Agent-in-Charge 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.”
As established during court proceedings, in the fall of 2016, Price established an online relationship with a 16-year-old girl who lived in Australia. By January 2017, they were communicating with each other daily through messages on Facebook, with much of the discussion concerning Price’s desire to engage in sex with the girl, and how she could travel from Australia to join Price in New York City without law enforcement or her parents finding out. The Facebook chat messages demonstrated that Price, who was 39-years-old at the time, openly discussed the girl’s age with her, and Price told her repeatedly that he wanted to be sexually intimate with her.
Price and the girl also discussed obtaining a fake passport so the girl could travel internationally, and Price offered to impersonate the girl’s father to help her get through airport security in the United States. In chat messages, Price told the girl that they would soon be laughing at her parents and when she told Price that she did not need parental permission to fly internationally, Price responded: “So you coming to papa?” After months of planning, Price wired the girl over $900 to purchase a plane ticket to fly to Los Angeles in late March of 2017. Shortly afterwards, on April 11, 2017, the girl flew on a roundtrip ticket from Sydney, Australia to Los Angeles, California, where Price was waiting for her arrival. Price hired a rental car, and drove across the country to Price’s home in Jamaica, Queens.
Price admitted in a post-arrest statement that he and Jane Doe were involved sexually during their cross-country trip and while they were living in Queens until she was found by law enforcement in his home four weeks later. Following her successful recovery by officers of the NYPD, Jane Doe was returned to her family in Australia. In a recent submission to the Court, Jane Doe’s mother recounted the trauma Jane Doe and her family continue to struggle with in the aftermath of the defendant’s actions.
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.
Residence: Queens, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 17-CR-301 (NGG)