Former Fort Benning soldier pleads guilty in child sexual exploitation case

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – On Tuesday, a former Fort Benning soldier pleaded guilty in a federal child exploitation case.

Charlie Peeler, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, says Samuel Ray Robinson, a former U.S. Army Specialist, has pleaded guilty to one count of transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.

In June, Robinson, age 23, secretly brought a 13-year-old Florida runaway he met online onto Fort Benning for six days. During that time is when child exploitation crimes against the girl were committed, according to Peeler.

A forensic examination of the victim’s phone revealed it pinged on Fort Benning betweenMay 27 and June 2.

Peeler says during that time, Robinson, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, took more than 100 nude photos and films of the girl. During an interview, Robinson also admitted he had sex with the girl.

“Robinson targeted a vulnerable minor online, took her hours away from home, and kept herhidden, abusing her repeatedly. He will pay a steep penalty for his egregious crime—federal prisonwithout parole,” said Peeler.

During the investigation, it was discovered that Robison had met the victim, who is from SantaRosa Beach, Florida, online and travel to Destin to pick her up from a gas station in late May.

During an interview with agents from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command’s Fort Benning CID Office, Robinson also admitted he knew the victim was a minor when he picked her up, but thought she 15-years-old.

“Robinson’s behavior is not tolerated in the U.S. Army and hopefully this will be of some solaceto his victim and prevent him from targeting other such vulnerable people,” said Special Agentin-Charge Micah Rush. “I want to thank all of the investigative and legal efforts made by theSpecial Agents of the Fort Benning CID Office, our law enforcement partners and the U.S.Attorney’s office.”

Robinson is set to be sentenced on December 17. He 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. He will also be required to register as a sex offender. There is no parole in the federal system.

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