68-Year-Old Star Man Pleads Guilty to Sexual Exploitation of Minors
BOISE – Michael James Angus, 68, of Star, Idaho, pleaded guilty today in United States District Court in Boise to possessing sexually explicit images of minors, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced.
According to the plea agreement, deputies from the Ada County Sheriff’s Office, who are members of the Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, began an investigation after a 10-year-old female reported that Angus had engaged in inappropriate sexual contact with her while her family was visiting at Angus’ home on October 30, 2011. The parents of the girl also expressed concern for the welfare of another child, an 8-year-old, who often spent time alone with Angus at his home.
Investigators identified the 8-year-old and contacted her. The girl disclosed inappropriate contact by Angus, and said he had also taken pictures of her dancing, posing nude, and when she was in the bathtub.
Deputies obtained a warrant to search Angus’ home and discovered child pornography, including sexually explicit images of the 8-year-old girl, whom Angus had cared for off and on for several years. The images were produced on at least four separate dates between July 2009 and September 2011, mostly in or around the bathtub in the master bedroom of Angus’ home in Star. Investigators also discovered hundreds of images of other, yet unidentified minors that had been downloaded from the Internet. Of these, according to the plea agreement, sixty-six images are child pornography. The others included naturist (or nudist) images of children as young as two years of age, many of which would be considered “child erotica” to a person with a sexual interest in children.
As a condition of the plea agreement, Angus was required to meet with investigators and make disclosures, subject to polygraph verification, concerning any other minors with whom he may have engaged in inappropriate contact. Angus admitted engaging in sexual contact or other sexual behavior with a total of seven young females, age 10 or younger, including the 10 and 8- year-olds originally identified as possible victims.
The charge of possession of sexually explicit images of minors is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to lifetime supervised release. According to the plea agreement, the parties have agreed to recommend that Angus serve the maximum sentence of 10 years’ incarceration, without possibility of parole, plus lifetime supervised release.
Sentencing is set for November 1, 2012, before Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill at the federal courthouse in Boise.
“Protecting and rescuing children from sexual exploitation is a critical law enforcement function,” said Olson. “Tragically, in this case, Mr. Angus victimized several young girls before one family contacted law enforcement. I commend the Ada County Sheriff’s Office for their aggressive and thorough efforts to uncover the breadth of Mr. Angus’ criminal conduct. I commend the cooperative efforts of the FBI, Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the prosecutors, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Peters and Jean Fisher from the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office, for their work in securing what may amount to a life sentence for Mr. Angus and a resolution that ensures his victims obtain justice without having to testify in open court.”
The case was investigated by the Ada County Sheriff’s Office, an affiliate of the Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, assisted by the FBI’s Regional Computer Forensic Lab.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”
Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a collaborative effort by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and communities to prevent and deter gun violence.