Online Child Predator Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison
Posed as Teenager to Lure Other Teens to Produce Pornographic Images
ATLANTA, GA - MICHAEL MACALUSO, 38, of Marietta, Georgia, was sentenced late today by United States District Judge Richard W. Story to serve 30 years in federal prison for coercing and extorting minors into producing sexually-explicit masochistic images and videos of themselves and sending them to him over the internet.
United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said, “This defendant personifies what should frighten every parent should be afraid of: someone masquerading on internet social media, such as Facebook and MySpace, as an innocent, curious teenager looking to make new friends. In reality, he was a child predator seeking to cajole minors into sending him pornographic images of themselves. This type of exploitation of children and their social media is yet another tactic used by child predators.”
MACALUSO was sentenced to serve 30 years in prison, to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release. MACALUSO will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release from custody. MACALUSO was convicted of the charges by a jury after a trial in December, 2010.
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: MACALUSO, a Marietta-area chiropractor and martial arts instructor by trade, would pose on-line as a teenage boy or girl and attempt to befriend young teen boys in an effort to get them, ultimately, to generate sexually-explicit photos and videos of themselves. Some of the videos MACALUSO then convinced his victims to make have since been distributed across the internet. MACALUSO befriended at least two boys on-line. For one, he posed as a young teenage boy; for the other, young teenage girls. With both his victims, he engaged in friendly chat for several sessions, eventually sending an unremarkable photo of the false persona he had adopted and requesting the same from his victims. Gradually, MACALUSO shifted the conversations towards the sexual, and began sending photos of partially and then completely nude boys and girls, claiming that they were pictures of the personas he had adopted. Having grown comfortable with the “friend” they thought they were chatting with, the victims reciprocated.
Both victims ultimately went to the police, one when MACALUSO began to threaten to share the nude photos with all of the victim’s high school classmates and the other when his parents learned of MACALUSO’s scheme to convince this second victim to film a sex scene with another boy MACALUSO had met on-line. Many of the videos recovered involved the victims engaging in sexually-explicit masochistic conduct. MACALUSO’s computers had thousands of images and videos of other similar-aged boys doing similar things. At least one other victim has been positively identified.
This case was investigated by Special Agents of the GBI, as well as officers from the Marietta (GA), Hamilton (NJ), and Suffield (CT) Police Departments.
Assistant United States Attorneys Jill Steinberg, Corey Steinberg, and Robert McBurney prosecuted the case.
For further information please contact Sally Q. Yates, United States Attorney, or Charysse L. Alexander, Executive Assistant United States Attorney, through Patrick Crosby, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Attorney's Office, at 404-581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.