A Savannah man arrested in Millen last year for transporting a teenage girl across several state lines for sexual purposes was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Statesboro.
Steve Lavon Biggins, 33, Savannah, was convicted in December of several sex charges after his arrest in Millen, where he was apprehended during a traffic stop last year.
United States District Court Senior Judge B. Avant Edenfield sentenced Biggins to 25 years in prison, followed by supervised release for the remainder of his life, for convictions of transporting a minor with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, production of child pornography, and transportation of child pornography, he said.
Biggins was stopped after returning from a trip with a young girl during which he had sex with her and took explicit photographs of her, according to evidence presented during his trial.
Biggins lied about his age and identity to gain the confidence of a girl younger than age 16, U.S. Attorney Edward Tarver said after his conviction.
Biggins took the teen on a seven-day trip through several states before being stopped and arrested in Millen in July, Tarver said.
“This defendant misrepresented his identity and age through his conversations with a girl he met online in order to gain her trust,” Tarver said in a statement released after his conviction. “He developed a relationship with her, transported her across the Southeast in a tractor trailer, engaged in illegal sex acts and took photographs of that activity in violation of numerous federal laws.”
Evidence presented during the trial revealed that Biggins posed as a man in his 20s named “Rodney.” Tarver said Biggins texted and called the teen girl, who he “met” through the mobile application Tagged.com.
Biggins built a relationship with the victim in person without her parents’ knowledge and took her away for short-haul trips that spanned a total of seven days through South Carolina, Tennessee and North Carolina, before returning to Georgia, Tarver said.
“While on the trip he engaged in sexual conduct that violated the laws of each state he entered, and photographed the same,” Tarver said. “Upon his return trip through Millen, Ga., Biggins was stopped and immediately arrested by law enforcement officers. He has remained in custody since that time.”
Biggin’s arrest was accomplished through the combined efforts of Millen Police Department, Jenkins County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia State Patrol, Georgia Bureau of Investigation and FBI. Project Safe Childhood is a nationwide U. S. Department of Justice initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse, he said.
FBI Special Agent Marcus Kirkland investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy Greenwood, the deputy criminal chief in the Augusta U.S. Attorney’s Branch Office and Project Safe Childhood coordinator, prosecuted the case.
Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.