COLUMBUS, Ga. (WMBB) — A former U.S. Army Specialist plead guilty in a child exploitation case, after sneaking a Florida teen onto Fort Benning and taking more than 100 photos and films of her in the nude, federal prosecutors said.
Samuel Ray Robinson, 23, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to one count of transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. Robinson faces a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years in prison and up to a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, a maximum fine of $250,000, and a maximum term of supervised release of life. Robinson will also be required to register as a sex offender. His sentencing hearing is set for December 17, 2020.
The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command’s Fort Benning CID Office was contacted on June 14, by the Walton County, Florida Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) regarding a 13-year-old runaway who left her Santa Rosa Beach, Florida home on or about May 27. On June 2, the child contacted her mother with her cellphone and provided her with a “pin” of her location at a Columbus motel. She was then located and returned home.
Investigators with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office performed a forensic examination of the phone and learned the child’s phone “pinged” on Fort Benning between May 27 and June 2, and she had been communicating with Robinson. During an interview with agents, Robinson admitted he met the girl online and picked her up at a gas station in Destin, Florida. Robinson also admitted he knew the victim was a minor when he picked her up, thinking her to be 15 years old, prosecutors wrote. Robinson snuck the girl onto Fort Benning, where she stayed for six nights and had sex with the suspect. The girl was also filmed and photographed in the nude by Robinson more than 100 times.
“Robinson targeted a vulnerable minor online, took her hours away from home, and kept her hidden, abusing her repeatedly. He will pay a steep penalty for his egregious crime—federal prison without parole,” said U.S. Attorney Charlie Peeler. “I want to thank Fort Benning CID, the Columbus authorities and the Walton County Sheriff’s Office for investigating this case and bringing the victim safely home.”