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A former Coast Guard member convicted in the videotaped rape of an 18-month-old girl who was tied to a motel bed was sentenced Thursday by a Michigan judge to up to 200 years in prison, according to a local television station.
“You are truly an evil individual and we need to make sure that you are never allowed in society,” Kent County Circuit Judge Mark Trusock told 29-year-old Eric Devin Masters when he handed down the lengthy sentence, according to WZZM in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Masters was sentenced to between 50 and 200 years for raping the toddler in 2012. Trusock recounted the facts of the case as visibly disturbed courtroom spectators looked on, WZZM reported.
“You took an 18-month-old little girl, an innocent little girl, to a motel with the specific intent, with a camera, with straps,” Trusock said. “You stripped this little girl down, you tied her arms and legs to the bedposts. You proceeded to rape this child.”
Masters was also accused of urinating on the young victim after the brutal sexual assault.
He then traded video to obtain other child pornography, according to the FBI.
“This incident is one of the most egregious things that I’ve ever had to deal with in dealing with criminal cases for 31 years,” Trusock said.
During the hearing, Masters apologized for doing “horrible things to others.”
“With God’s help we can both be healed … God is my refuge and salvation and through Him I can be redeemed from these tragedies,” Masters said. “I’m sorry for committing this horrible crime.”
The victim’s mother pleaded with the judge to keep the sexual predator locked up.
“This man has given my daughter a life sentence that she will never forget … I beg you, your Honor, don’t let him get out,” the woman said. “He doesn’t deserve to be in the outside world.”
Last month, Masters received a 50-year federal sentence for making child pornography involving three young girls in multiple Michigan counties, according to a news release from the FBI. The victims ranged in age between 18 months and 12 years old.
He is also accused of molesting two other girls, the release said. Those cases were addressed in state court.
The incidents started in June 2011 when Masters began recording himself sexually abusing young girls while they slept in what he described to others as “sleep rape” videos, according to the FBI. He was on active duty in the Coast Guard at the time.
“Throughout that year and the next, Masters continued to make ‘sleep rape’ videos of young girls,” the release stated. “He also took hidden video of one child exiting the shower, changing clothes in a bedroom, and using the bathroom.”
He met one of his victims, a 13-year-old girl, through Facebook, the FBI said.
Masters’ “path of destruction” came to an end when he was apprehended by authorities in February 2014, according to the release. Approximately 7 months later, he pleaded guilty in federal court to three counts of “producing numerous child pornography videos and photographs” between May 2012 and August 2013.
The FBI investigation led to the discovery of the toddler’s rape at the motel, according to WZZM.
Thursday’s sentence means Masters will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars.
“I want to send a clear message to the Parole Board that when you are first considered for parole, and that won’t be until you’re 79 years old, that I don’t want you out,” Trusock said.
“We’re done. Take him to prison.”