Tampa man gets prison for forcing teen to take lewd photos
TAMPA – The 13-year-old girl sat in the corner of her bedroom and cried. Eric Donovan Scott, a close family friend eight years older than her, was forcing her to take lewd pictures of herself and send them to him. With each picture, there was a demand for another, more graphic shot. Finally, the girl told her older sister, who told their mother, who went to authorities.Today, a federal judge sentenced Scott, now 22, to five years in federal prison, followed by 10 years of probation for receipt and possession of child pornography. The sentence was below the sentencing guidelines suggested prison term of 12 to 15 years, but U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore decided to follow the recommendation of the prosecution, the defense and the court's probation office. The victim's mother, who tearfully addressed the court about her daughter's ordeal, said she was satisfied with the sentence, believing it was most important that Scott will be supervised for 10 years. The mother, whose name is being withheld so as not to identify the girl, said she considered Scott almost as a son, and her daughter saw him as a big brother. The families became close when Scott's mother and the victim's father were in the military stationed together in Germany. "This man used his status with our family to take advantage of a 13-year-old girl for his own amusement and profit," the girl's father said in a letter read by her mother. "There is nothing in this world that can replace the innocence that was taken from my youngest daughter … It sickens me that I was deployed overseas during the transgression." The girl told Scott she had sex with a 19-year-old, according to court papers. He threatened to tell her mother if she didn't send him pictures of herself. "She sat in the corner of her bedroom and cried every time you made her send another picture," the mother told Scott. "She said, 'Mom, I didn't know what to do.'" Scott, of Tampa, apologized to the court, his family and the victim. He said he and the victim were both doing things they shouldn't have done. "I ask if you could find forgiveness in your heart," Scott said to the mother. She nodded yes. "I forgive him," she said later, adding she hopes he makes wise decisions the rest of his life. She later said she was angry, however, that Scott placed some of the blame on her daughter. "You made her do this. You can't put the responsibility off to a child that you extorted."
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