Dublin man sentenced to 10 years in federal prison

SPECIAL to the

DALLAS — Sethaniel Winston Hampsten, 24, of Dublin, Texas, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade to 10 years in federal prison, following his guilty plea in September to one count of transferring obscene material to a minor, announced John Parker, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.

According to documents filed in the case, Hampsten used his cell phone and tablet to entice someone he thought was a 14-year-old girl to engage in sexual contact with him. He also admitted sending a sexually explicit, obscene photo of himself to the minor girl.

The investigation began in September 2014 when a detective with the Garland Police Department was conducting an undercover investigation online into advertisements placed on Craigslist. The detective established an undercover profile as a 14-year-old girl. Using this undercover profile, the detective responded to an ad Hampsten placed by stating she was almost 15 years old and a freshman. Within nine minutes, a man, later identified as Hampsten, responded, asking for a picture.

Over the course of four days, Hampsten and the detective chatted and Hampsten identified himself as a man in his 20’s named Seth. Sexually explicit chats continued, with Hampsten sending a sexually explicit obscene photo of himself, and the two planned to meet in the minor girl’s apartment in Garland, Texas. On the scheduled meet date, Hampsten drove from Dublin to Garland and parked in the apartment’s parking lot. When detectives approached him in his vehicle, he had a condom in his lap.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative, which was launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals, who sexually exploit children, and identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/. For more information about internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/ and click on the tab “resources.”

The Garland Police Department and the FBI investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Camille Sparks was in charge of the prosecution.