Washington man sentenced to ten years for attempted sexual exploitation of 11-year-old child

Steven Michael Burke, a 37-year-old resident of Duvall, Washington, was sentenced to ten years in prison for attempted enticement of a minor. 

The decision follows his earlier conviction for possessing and distributing images of child sexual abuse. Burke's actions included soliciting sexually explicit images from an 11-year-old child through an internet chat site while awaiting sentencing for his prior offense.

U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez, presiding over the hearing, emphasized the importance of community protection, particularly safeguarding children. He imposed a twenty-year supervised release after Burke's prison term, stating, "The protection of children I hold at the highest level of all."

Burke admitted his guilt in September 2023, acknowledging that during his period awaiting sentencing for possessing child sexual abuse images, he sought explicit images from the 11-year-old child and even sent such images to the minor. His actions came to light after being placed on probation for his earlier offense.

The U.S. Department of Justice seal.

The U.S. Department of Justice seal. (Samuel Corum/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Assistant United States Attorney Cecelia Gregson urged a ten-year sentence, citing Burke's egregious actions despite facing federal prosecution and being a father of four. Gregson expressed the unconscionable harm inflicted upon the child victim, as outlined in her statement.

Burke has remained in custody since his arrest on May 4, 2023, and the case was thoroughly investigated by the Department of Homeland Security Investigations.