Three Rivers Man Sentenced to Life in Prison on Charges of
Distributing Child Pornography and Attempting to Entice a Minor to Engage in Unlawful Sexual Activity
Mario Jay Asakevich, 36, of Three Rivers, Michigan, was sentenced today to life in prison after having pleaded guilty to distributing child pornography and attempting to entice a minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity, United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced.
Ms. McQuade was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Andrew G. Arena, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Sheriff Anthony Wickersham, Macomb County Sheriff’s Department.
“Parents and children need to be aware that child predators use the Internet to harm children,” McQuade said. “We are grateful that alert law enforcement investigators were able to apprehend this child predator before he was able to harm another child.”
Special Agent in Charge Arena said, “Those who seek to harm children through these despicable acts will be pursued vigorously and prosecuted. We will remain committed to stopping anyone who uses the internet or any other means to prey on and exploit children."
Sheriff Wickersham stated, “The Macomb County Sheriff's Office has shared a valuable and cooperative working relationship with the FBI and will continue these efforts with the same unwavering commitment and diligence to protect children from harm committed by these detestable predators.”
Asakevich pleaded guilty on October 11, 2011, before United States District Judge Sean Cox. The plea agreement detailed Asakevich’s effort to entice a 14-year old girl to engage in sexual activity. Asakevich did so by initiating an online chat with an undercover police officer who was posing as a 14-year old girl. After initiating the first chat, Asakevich embarked on a four-month long effort to groom the 14-year old for sex. He repeatedly described, in graphic detail, the sexual acts that he wanted to perform with her. Asakevich also sent the undercover officer images of child pornography in an effort to convince the 14-year old that it was okay to engage in sexual activity with an adult. These child pornographic images included very young girls who were forced to engage in sexual acts with adult males. Asakevich arranged to meet the 14-year-old on two separate occasions.
A search of Asakevich’s home revealed approximately 850 images of child pornography and seven child pornographic videos. These images and videos included young girls, toddlers and even infants being sexually abused, images of young girls being tied and bound, and images of bestiality.
This was not Asakevich’s first conviction involving the sexual exploitation of children. He is a registered sex offender. In 2004, Asakevich pleaded guilty to using a computer to commit a crime. In 2005, Asakevich pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography and, in 2009, Asakevich pleaded guilty to attempted criminal sexual conduct - 4th degree. Additionally, during the course of this investigation, Asakevich signed a written statement admitting that, from 1996 to 2009, he had inappropriate sexual contact, or he attempted to have inappropriate sexual conduct, with eight different girls ranging in age from ten to fifteen years old.
This case was investigated by officers of the Macomb Area Computer Enforcement Task Force (MACE) and the FBI. Assistant United States Attorney Douglas C. Salzenstein is prosecuting the case for the United States.