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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Sacramento Man Convicted of Traveling to the Philippines to Have Sex with Minors, Conspiring to Produce Child Pornography, and Buying Children

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal jury today found Michael Carey Clemans, 57, of Sacramento, guilty of attempted travel and travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, conspiracy to travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, and buying of children, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced. On the first day of trial, Clemans pleaded guilty to three additional counts: conspiracy to produce child pornography, attempted production and production of child pornography, and receipt of child pornography.

According to court documents, beginning in June 2014, Clemans conspired with a woman in the Philippines to produce child pornography. During much of the conspiracy, Clemans was temporarily residing in Bangkok, Thailand, where he worked as an airline pilot. In April 2015, Clemans returned to his Sacramento residence and continued his overseas conspiracy using his online account to chat with the Filipino woman. In these chats, Clemans discussed various strategies to obtain minor girls whom he could rape. Clemans instructed the Filipino woman on how to find vulnerable victims, directing her to look for orphans and victims of typhoons. Clemans paid nearly $6,000 to the woman so she could buy photographic equipment and find discreet locations to conduct sexually explicit photo shoots of the victims, who were as young as seven. He gave her explicit instructions on how to photograph their naked bodies so he could determine which ones he would come to the Philippines to rape. He indicated in the chats with the Filipino woman that he was particularly interested in very young virgins. On multiple occasions, Clemans paid a co-conspirator to obtain temporary custody of the children in the Philippines and produce child pornography for him.

According to evidence introduced at trial, Clemans engaged in another scheme with separate individuals in November 2013, in which he traveled from the United States to Manila for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with minors, including an 11-year-old girl, after requesting and receiving pornographic images of minors whom he expected to rape.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys André M. Espinosa and Colleen M. Kennedy are prosecuting the case.

Clemans is scheduled to be sentenced on December 12, 2017, by U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez. Clemans faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years in prison for the “buying children” charge, a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison, and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

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 those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. Click on the “resources” tab for information about internet safety education.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 
2:15-cr-227 JAM
Updated September 5, 2017