News and Press Releases

Daniel Scott Michaelis Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Billings on February 4, 2009, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, DANIEL SCOTT MICHAELIS, a 23-year-old resident of Billings, pled guilty to possession of child pornography. Sentencing is set for May 7, 2009. He is currently detained.

In an Offer of Proof filed by the United States, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

In May of 2007, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement received information that MICHAELIS, then age 22, had produced a videotape of himself engaged in sexual activity with his then-girlfriend, who was 16 at the time. At age 16, she was able to consent to sexual activity under Montana law, but was unable to consent to the visual recording of that activity under Federal law because she was under the age of 18. MICHAELIS knew that the girl was 16 when he made the tape. The tape, labeled "Daniel's Movie XXX," and the video camera used to produce the tape, were seized by law enforcement.

When questioned, MICHAELIS admitted that he had made the videotape and that he knew the girl was 16. The girl reported that MICHAELIS had also taken sexually explicit images of her using his cellular telephone and that he threatened to show them to people or to post them on the Internet if she broke up with him.

MICHAELIS faces possible penalties of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 5 years to life supervised release.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcia K. Hurd prosecuted the case for the United States.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Billings Police Department.

A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.



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