JEFFERSON CITY, MO (STL.News) – A prior sex offender in Fulton, Mo., was sentenced in federal court today after his mother and grandmother transported a 13-year-old child victim from Alabama to engage in illegal sexual activity with him.
Michael James Collins, 22, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Bough to 15 years in federal prison without parole. The court also sentenced Collins to 25 years of supervised release following incarceration.
Collins pleaded guilty on Nov. 26, 2018, to transporting a minor under the age of 14 across state lines with the intent to engage in illegal sexual activity and to committing the felony offense while he was under the requirement to register as a sex offender. Collins, who was a resident at the Community Supervision Center in Fulton, was on probation at the time of the offense for a prior felony conviction for sexual misconduct involving a child.
The Callaway County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department received information on Dec. 10, 2017, that a 13-year-old girl from Alabama was missing from her home. A cell phone ping placed the child victim at a residence in Fulton, where she was located and removed.
Collins admitted that he paid his grandmother $400 to go to Alabama to pick up the child victim, whom he met on a dating website in July 2017. Collins’s mother was with his grandmother when the child victim was picked up in Alabama and transported to Missouri. Collins’s grandmother and mother also transported the child victim between the Fulton residence and Collins’s residence at the Community Supervision Center when they were taking Collins back and forth to work. Collins admitted to engaging in sexual activity with the child victim while being transported by his grandmother and mother in their minivan to his place of employment.
Collins and the child victim communicated with each other from July to December 2017 via cell phone, Facebook Messenger and other apps, which was a violation of Collins’s probation. Collins accessed the internet using his cell phone as well as his mother’s cell phone. Collins and the child victim talked about having sex, had telephone sex and engaged in sexual role-playing that is commonly known as “sexting.” Collins’s mother and the child victim also communicated regularly using Facebook Messenger.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ashley S. Turner. It was investigated by the Callaway County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Fulton, Mo., Police Department, the FBI, the Callaway County, Mo., Prosecutor’s Office and the Callaway County Children’s Division.