Florida Keys sailboat was a floating house of horrors for couple’s children, cops say

A former Florida Keys man sentenced to federal prison on child pornography charges last month was arrested this week by Monroe County cops on horrifying accusations that he molested his own children, filmed several of the encounters and then distributed the footage.

The alleged crimes took place on a sailboat where Eric Cadogan resided, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. It was moored off a marina in the Middle Keys city of Marathon from 2019 until the 39-year-old man moved back to his home state of Wisconsin four years later.

His wife and five biological children lived on board with him, investigators say.

Cadogan was arrested in Wisconsin by the FBI in December on charges of distribution of child pornography following a sting in which he offered to sell a man hundreds of images of children engaging in sexual behavior. The man, who was chatting with him over a shadowy app, turned out to be an undercover agent.

In some of the explicit images of children, a man was wearing a bracelet that agents found in Cadogan’s bedroom in the Wisconsin home, where he was arrested.

He pleaded guilty to those charges in June and was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison.

Earlier this year, the sheriff’s office opened its own investigation after it was revealed during the federal probe that his wife, Kia Lynn Cadogan, told FBI agents that she molested one of the couple’s young children.

Deputies arrested 34-year-old woman in January. Her case on several counts of aggravated child abuse and child sexual battery is pending while she sits in county jail on a bond of $550,000.

On Tuesday, the sheriff’s office announced it arrested Eric Cadogan on several felony charges, including incest, sexual assault, child cruelty, contributing to the delinquency of a child and lewd and lascivious behavior on a child.

“Myself, and the men and women of the Sheriff’s Office are committed to protecting the most vulnerable among us — our children,” Sheriff Rick Ramsay said in a statement. “I want to commend the Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Detectives and our law enforcement partners who worked to ensure these two suspects were brought to justice.”

The chilling probable cause affidavit details multiple instances of Eric Cadogan raping his children, encouraging them to engage in sexual acts with each other and filming these crimes on his cell phone.

A judge this week ordered Cadogan held in jail on a bond of $2.2 million.

Information on either Cadogans’ legal representation was not immediately available. Authorities did not immediately respond to questions about the children’s whereabouts.

Kia Cadogan told FBI agents in December that Eric forced her to molest their child. But Ramsay told the Herald when his detectives arrested her in January that he didn’t buy her story.

While living in the Keys, Ramsay said she had ample opportunity to report the heinous acts alleged to have occurred on the vessel as she traveled to and fro the family’s boat.

“Our job is to protect people. If people come forward, they get protected,” Ramsay said at the time. “She was equally a co-conspirator.”

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