Florida court finds convict guilty

Just as Orange County prosecutors had hoped, a convicted pedophile from Costa Mesa who for years raped a Vietnamese girl he had bought overseas could spend the rest of his life behind bars.

George Joseph England, 66, was convicted in a Florida federal court Wednesday of multiple counts of moving his young victim across international and state lines in the 1970s. He faces up to 30 years in prison at his sentencing March 24.

In 1972, England was in Vietnam where he bought a 3- or 4-year-old girl from her mother and passed her off as his adopted daughter. From there, he spent the next few years taking her through Southeast Asia, all the while sexually assaulting her.

He eventually settled in Costa Mesa, where he lived with the girl for three years.

The girl, now a married woman living in Florida, told the FBI that England encouraged her to bring friends over to their house when they were no older than 10. He cut a hole in a wall and would watch them undress, among other things.

In that time he continued to molest the girl and was soon convicted of also molesting her three friends.

He fled the county before sentencing and took another name to evade the authorities. England became Steven Arthur Seagoe. The name was taken from a baby who died after childbirth. He and the girl moved to Florida under his new identity.

Years later, long estranged from England, the girl he molested through her entire childhood reported him to authorities. That's how federal prosecutors found England and brought him back to California to face sentencing for molesting those girls decades earlier. The molestation claims by his so-called daughter however, were long past the statute of limitations so he could not be charged.

He was originally scheduled to be released from a California prison last year for those decades-old convictions, but federal prosecutors in Florida charged him with taking the girl over state lines for illegal sex. He was extradited to Florida last year, charged with multiple felonies and ultimately convicted on Wednesday.

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