Bristol man facing 13 years in federal prison for trying to arrange sexual meeting with minor in Southington still faces state charges

Published on Friday, 3 June 2022 15:07
Written by JUSTIN MUSZYNSKI

@MUSZYNSKIBP

A Bristol man sentenced to more than 10 years in federal prison for trying last year to arrange a sexual rendezvous in Southington that ultimately turned out to be an undercover agent posing as a minor still faces state charges.

Robert Sellers, 61, of 8 Putnam St., Bristol, appeared Thursday in New Britain Superior Court on charges of attempt to commit risk of injury to a minor, attempt to commit second-degree sexual assault and attempt to commit commercial sexual abuse. 

He remains held on $150,000, while also serving out a 13-year federal sentence he received last month. 

Sellers’s state-level case was continued to July 7 without a plea agreement, according to judicial records. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges. 

Sellers in May was sentenced in federal court after pleading guilty to one count of attempted coercion and enticement of a minor and one count of distribution of child pornography.

According to federal court papers, online communications between Sellers and an undercover agent in late 2020 and early 2021 led to a conversation in which Sellers told the agent how he could exploit his fictitious daughter, which included pricing advice and tips on how to avoid any possibility of the customers going to law enforcement with what they know. Sellers also mentioned family members who he said do the same thing to their 12-year-old girl, according to the arrest warrant in the federal case.

By December 2020, the warrant said, Sellers asked the undercover agent if he could have sex with his underage daughter. They later agreed on a price of $200.

During the communications in January 2021, Sellers sent the agent a video of a girl who appeared to be between 12 and 15 years old engaging in a sex act, the warrant said. The two also arranged a meeting on Feb. 4, 2021, during which Sellers believed he would be having sex with a 12-year-old at the Motel 6 in Southington.

The FBI coordinated the investigation with Southington police and had surveillance set up around the motel, where Sellers rented a room for one night, court documents said. After an encounter between Sellers and the federal agent, Sellers was pulled over by a marked Southington police cruiser outside the motel and taken into custody on the state charges that are still pending.

Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or jmuszynski@bristolpress.com.



Posted in New Britain Herald, Southington Herald on Friday, 3 June 2022 15:07. Updated: Friday, 3 June 2022 15:10.