Cruise Ship Employee Sentenced to 188 Months in Prison for Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material
Peter Robert Bobal, 42, of Hallandale Beach, was sentenced, on February 15, 2019, to a total of 240 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom, after having been previously convicted by a trial jury of enticing a 14-year-old to engage in sexual activity and committing a felony involving a minor while being required to register as a sex offender (Case No. 18-Cr-60072).
Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Miami Field Office, made the announcement.
According to the court record, including evidence presented at trial, after receiving information from a concerned citizen, the FBI opened an investigation into Bobal. An undercover FBI agent posed as a 14 year-old girl and communicated with Bobal online. Over a period of twelve days in March of 2018, Bobal asked the individual he believed to be the 14 year-old minor more than 56 times to provide sexually explicit photographs and more than 70 times to meet him in person in order to engage in sexual activity. Bobal arranged to meet the 14-year old minor to commit a sexual act on March 14, 2018. On that date, Bobal was arrested when he arrived at the pre-arranged location to meet with the minor.
The jury found that Bobal committed a felony involving a minor while being required to register as a sex offender, following a 2005 conviction for enticement of a minor.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan commended the investigatory efforts of the FBI and FBI Miami Child Exploitation Task Force in this matter. This case was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney M. Catherine Koontz and Assistant United States Attorney Francis Viamontes.
Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.