Navy SEAL sentenced to 27 years in prison, but his legal problems aren’t over

NORFOLK, Va. - A Navy SEAL was sentenced to 27 years in prison for a child pornography charge during a hearing on Thursday afternoon.

Gregory Kyle Seerden apologized during the hearing. "I don't have excuses," Seerden said. "I only have remorse."

Seerden pleaded guilty last September to producing child porn. He admitted to recording himself touching a young girl inappropriately.

Despite the sentencing, his legal challenges are far from over. He faces charges in San Diego related to molesting another child.

In addition, a Navy spokesman said the Navy "intends" to bring charges against him, as well. The spokesman wouldn't confirm what case the charges are related to, but noted investigators couldn't charge him from the same cases where he's already been charged.

The case all began in January 2017 when Seerden was in Hampton Roads on temporary duty. A woman accused Seerden of sexually assaulting her in a hotel room on Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story.

During that investigation, NCIS looked at his phone and say they found 78 images of child porn and four videos.

During the sentencing hearing, Seerden's attorney asked for the minimum sentence of 15 years, saying Seerden has accepted responsibility and has been cooperative in the investigation.

The attorney argued Seerden's service to the country and lack of criminal history merits a lesser sentence. "He was honored to serve as a Navy SEAL, performing some of the most dangerous and physically and mentally challenging duties ever asked of a service member," wrote the attorney, Keith Kimball. "[His] degree of military service distinguishes him from other typical cases and warrants a [lesser sentence]."

Judge Raymond Jackson, himself a veteran, responded to Seerden's service record during the hearing. "This is not an exceptional military record," he said. "You did your job."

Kimball also wrote that Seerden's career stress led to him becoming a "functional alcoholic." A Navy spokesman responded to the statement. "Mr. Seerden has had countless resources and mandated screenings throughout his entire Navy career to treat any alcohol related issues he may have suffered from," said Lt. Zachary Keating, a public affairs officer from Naval Special Warfare Group ONE. "We are not going to address speculatory claims made by a convicted sex-offender in a self-serving attempt to mitigate his own sentencing."

Judge Jackson could've sentenced him to 30 years, but chose 27 years. He called Seerden's conduct "truly horrible and egregious." He declined to specify that Seerden serve his sentence in California near his family.