Department of Justice
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: DAVILYN WALSTON
WEDNESDAY, MAY 2, 2007 PHONE: (409) 839-2538
WWW.USDOJ.GOV/USAO/txe CELL: (409) 553-9881
SEX OFFENDER SENTENCED FOR FAILING TO REGISTER IN TEXAS
Adam Walsh Act puts Tyler man in Federal Prison
TYLER, TX – United States Attorney Matthew D. Orwig announced today that a 45-year-old Tyler man has been sentenced to 12 months in federal prison for failing to register as a sex offender in the Eastern District of Texas.
MICHAEL MIHALEY pleaded guilty to failing to register as a sex offender on February 16, 2007 and was sentenced today by United States District Judge Michael H. Schneider.
According to evidence presented in court, in July 2000, Mihaley pleaded guilty to the offense of rape of a child in Washington State and was sentenced to a period of imprisonment. Upon his release from prison, he traveled to Nevada where he registered as a sex offender. Thereafter, he left Nevada and traveled to Colorado where he registered as a sex offender. In December 2005, Mihaley left Colorado and traveled to Tyler, Texas, where he knowingly did not register as a sex offender. In November 2006, Mihaley was interviewed by a Tyler Police Officer on an unrelated investigation and it was determined he had failed to register as a sex offender in Texas.
Since 1994, federal law has provided minimum national requirements for state sex offender registration and notification programs. The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (Walsh Act), enacted on July 27, 2006, has created a new comprehensive national system and set of requirements for sex offender registration and notification which will eventually replace the previously existing requirements. The new standards appear within the Walsh Act and are entitled the “Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act” (SORNA). SORNA includes federal law requirements for sex offenders to register in the jurisdictions in which they live, work, or go to school. The Walsh Act also amended the federal criminal code to include a new offense provision, 18 U.S.C. § 2250, which provides criminal penalties for those who knowingly fail to register or update registration as required by SORNA. This is the offense under which Mihaley was sentenced.
This is the first successful prosecution using this new statute within the State of Texas and it is believed there have been fewer than ten such prosecutions nationwide.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales launched Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov/ .
This case is being investigated by the United States Marshals Service and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Gregg A. Marchessault.