SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A Coronado-based Navy SEAL was in federal custody Friday on suspicion of sexually assaulting a child, videotaping the acts and transmitting the images online.
Petty Officer 1st Class Gregory Kyle Seerden, 31, was arrested April 3 on charges filed in Virginia and is being held at Metropolitan Correctional Center San Diego pending extradition proceedings, according to military officials and court documents.
Seerden, a member of SEAL Team 1, faces three counts of production and transportation of child pornography.
The alleged crimes "involved a prepubescent minor who had not attained the age of 12" when the acts purportedly took place about three months ago, according to an indictment filed in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia.
Lt. Zachary Keating, spokesman for Naval Special Warfare Group 1, confirmed that the suspect is an active-duty member of the unit. Keating declined to provide further information, other than to assert that "NSW is cooperating with the investigative authorities."
The case grew out of an investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service into an unrelated sex assault for which Seerden, a Missouri native, currently faces no charges, the Virginian-Pilot newspaper reported.
A woman told authorities Seerden raped her last January in a hotel at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia Beach after they went out drinking and she blacked out.
Seerden was serving temporarily in Norfolk at the time of the assault, according to court documents.
NCIS agents investigating the accusations secured authorization to search Seerden's iPhone 7, finding dozens of images of girls and boys enaged in sex acts on the device, according to the newspaper. At least one image appeared to show a naked child and a sexually aroused dog, and another involved bondage, the Virginian-Pilot report states.
Investigators documented a total of 78 images of suspected child pornography on the serviceman's cellphone.
Four videos and one still image seemed to have been shot using the same mobile phone on Jan. 1 and the following day, depicting a man masturbating next to a sleeping girl and touching her in sexual ways, the newspaper reported. The man's face was not captured by the camera, but the shots revealed that he was wearing a light-blue shirt.
Other photos on the phone taken a short time earlier showed Seerden wearing a shirt of the same color while reading to the victim and three other children.