Winter Park Man Pleads Guilty To Distribution Of Child Pornography And Enticement Of A Minor To Produce Child Pornography
Orlando, Florida – Eric Bales (30, Winter Park) has pleaded guilty to distributing child pornography and online enticement of a child to produce child pornography. He faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 10 years, and up to life, in federal prison. Bales has been in custody since his arrest on November 15, 2018.
According to the plea agreement, beginning in August 2018, Bales obtained and distributed images and videos of child pornography over internet peer-to-peer applications. Bales also elicited the production of pornographic images from a 16-year-old girl, and shared those images via messaging apps. In 2014, prior to committing these offenses, Bales was convicted for willful child abuse in Florida state court.
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Brandon Bayliss, on assignment from the Office of Principal Legal Advisor, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
This case was 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 (CEOS), 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.