(STL.News) – A Randolph man was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boston on child exploitation charges.
Michael Lee, 52, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani to 20 years in prison and five years of supervised release. In June 2019, Lee pleaded guilty to one count of sexual exploitation of children and one count each of distribution, receipt and possession of child pornography.
A search warrant at Lee’s Randolph home was conducted as part of an investigation into the online trade of child pornography through the use of Kik, an instant messaging app. During an interview with agents, Lee admitted to trading images and videos of child pornography with other Kik users, including a New Hampshire man who provided Lee with images and videos documenting the sexual abuse of the man’s eight-year-old daughter at Lee’s direction. Forensic analysis of Lee’s cell phone and Kik account corroborated his admissions and showed that he had created videos of himself in which he directed the child’s father how to sexually abuse her, and had received videos in return that showed the man abusing her. Forensic review of the evidence also showed that Lee had been trading child pornography with other Kik users.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne Paruti, Lelling’s Project Safe Childhood Coordinator and a member of the Major Crimes Unit, is prosecuting the case.
The case is brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In 2006, the Department of Justice created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov/.