SACRAMENTO——A former Folsom swim coach was sentenced Thursday, July 31 for trying to meet up with a 13 year old at a hotel, according to officials. Eric Johnston, 23, was sentenced by a U.S. District judge to 12 years in prison, followed by 20 years of supervised release for the attempted enticement of a minor. Johnson was once a coach for the Folsom Sea Otters, a youth team based out of the Folsom Aquatic Center on Riley Street.
According to the plea agreement, Johnston arranged to meet a young teen at a Rancho Cordova hotel in June 2012. Officers arrested Johnston when he arrived at the hotel. According to a story published in CBS Sacramento, then 21-year-old Johnson was enticed by a man to the hotel to watch or participate in a rape of his 13-year-old daughter. The father was actually an undercover detective. The story quotes an email from Johnson stating “I’m very much into that taboo stuff. I’ve had sexual relationships with young boys under the age of 14 before, so I kind of know how it goes.” He then allegedly went on to write, “I’m more interested in your son than your daughter.” The supposed son he referred to was communicated as being only 9 years old.
In his plea agreement, Johnston attested to arranging to meet who he thought was the 13 year old at a hotel. However, upon arriving there, Johnston was arrested by law enforcement. He agreed to let officers assume his identity in communicating a message to another man, 36-year-old Nicholas Perry, that he was at the hotel, inviting him to participate. Perry arrived about 45 minutes later and was taken into custody. Perry had also communicated previously with the detective posing as the girl’s father.
Investigators continued to look into the case after the arrests, and were able to identify a minor who was having a sexual relationship with Johnston. Based on that information, Johnston was sentenced by the Sacramento Superior Court to two years in prison that will be served concurrently with his federal sentence.
Perry will be sentenced August 21, 2014 and could face a statutory penalty of 10 years to life in prison and a $250,000 fine, officials said.
The case was investigated by the Sacramento Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, a federally and state-funded task force funded by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department with agents from federal state and local agencies.
CBS Sacramento (2012): Graphic Federal Complaint Reveals Folsom Swim Coach’s Alleged Intentions
Sacramento Bee: Sacramento, Folsom men plead guilty in child enticement case