News and Press Releases

Former School Security Officer Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for Production of Child Pornography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 9 , 2012


BIRMINGHAM – A federal judge today sentenced a former security officer in the Birmingham City School System and a substitute bus driver for Shelby County Schools to 30 years in prison for producing child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Northern District of Alabama FBI Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Maley and Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper.

U.S. District Judge Inge P. Johnson sentenced MICHAEL WAYNE WOOTEN, 61, of Alabaster, to prison and ordered he remain on supervised release for the rest of his life after completing the prison term. The court noted during the hearing that Wooten had numerous child victims. Law enforcement has identified 11 children who he exploited.

Wooten pleaded guilty in January to producing child pornography.
“Restoring the innocence and trust this defendant stole from his victims is impossible, but the judge’s sentence punishes him for the harm he did and ensures he will never exploit another child,” Vance said. “This defendant will be eligible for release when he is 91. Today, we confirm that victimizing children by taking sexually explicit photographs of them is abhorrent criminal behavior and it will be not tolerated.”
“Mr. Wooten used his position as a school security guard to gain access to young children,” Breuer said. “But rather than protect school students, he sexually abused them and captured this abuse in dozens of photographs. Today, appropriately, he was sentenced to 30 years in prison.”

“Mr. Wooten used and abused his position of trust to satisfy his own perverse sexual interest in children,” Maley said. “Working with our law enforcement partners, the FBI will bring to justice those individuals who prey on the innocent.”

“We believe that justice has been served and this is the appropriate sentence in a case where so many innocent children have been affected,” Roper said. “We appreciate all the various criminal justice agencies that came together to bring this investigation to a successful conclusion.”

Wooten, a retired Birmingham Police Officer, worked as a security officer for the Birmingham City Schools from July 1997 until May 2011. Before his November arrest, Wooten had worked as a substitute bus driver in Shelby County Schools during the current school year.

Between August 2009 and April 2010, Wooten used an office at Dupuy Elementary School in Birmingham to take modeling photos of numerous juvenile girls, according to court records. After one of these modeling sessions, one of the victims told her parents of potentially inappropriate conduct by Wooten. A subsequent search of Wooten’s residence yielded multiple computers containing child pornography images, including images produced by Wooten depicting several victims, between four and nine years of age, engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

The FBI and the Birmingham Police Department investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Fortune and Trial Attorney Jeffrey H. Zeeman of the Justice Department Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section prosecuted the case.

 

 

 

 

 

Return to Top

USAO Homepage
Justice 101
USAO Briefing Room
United States Attorneys 225th Anniversary
Stay Connected with Twitter
Project Safe Childhood

Help us combat the proliferation of sexual exploitation crimes against children.

Prisoner Re-entry

 

If you believe your organization has expertise or resources that could improve outcomes for ex-offenders re-entering society, please e-mail our Community Outreach Coordinator at Jeremy.Sherer@usdoj.gov
or call 205-244-2019.