Melbourne Man Sentenced To Thirty Years For Sexually Exploiting Minors And Assaulting A Federal Officer With A Firearm
Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Carlos E. Mendoza has sentenced David Hardman (55, Melbourne) to 30 years in federal prison for sexually exploiting minors and for forcibly assaulting a federal officer with a deadly weapon. The court also ordered Hardman to forfeit the proceeds obtained from the sale of his residence, which he had used to commit the sexual exploitation offenses, and to forfeit the digital devices he used to commit his offenses. Hardman pleaded guilty on April 26, 2018.
According to court documents, Hardman produced DVD videos of minors engaged in sexually explicit activity and sold the DVDs to buyers throughout the United States. During a period of seven years, Hardman exploited nine identified minors and made $346,664 from the sale of the DVDs. On August 17, 2017, FBI agents and officers from the Melbourne Police Department executed a search warrant at Hardman’s home. Hardman hid in his bathroom with a firearm. When the officers entered the room, Hardman pointed the weapon at the officers as he tried to chamber a round. The officers tackled Hardman and retrieved the firearm.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Karen L. Gable.
It is another case brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.