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Press Release

Repeat Sex Offender Sentenced to Over 15 Years in Federal Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Michigan

DETROIT – Matthew Mercer-Kinser, 37, was sentenced today to 15 years and 8 months in federal prison for his second federal child pornography offense since 2009, United States Attorney Dawn N. Ison announced today.

Cheyvoryea Gibson, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, joined Ison in the announcement.

United States District Judge Terrence G. Berg sentenced Mercer-Kinser after a jury convicted him of receiving child pornography. According to the evidence presented at trial, in June 2009, United States District Judge Robert H. Cleland sentenced Mercer-Kinser to serve 12½ years in federal custody for transporting child pornography. In July 2019, the Bureau of Prisons designated Mercer-Kinser to serve the final months of that sentence in a Detroit residential reentry center (RRC). While at the RRC, Mercer-Kinser sent numerous sexually explicit text messages to a minor relative. A concerned adult learned of these communications and reported Mercer-Kinser to the FBI. Execution of a search warrant for Mercer-Kinser’s smartphone revealed several images of child pornography and numerous disturbing communications demonstrating Mercer-Kinser’s continued, prolific sexual interest in children. When Mercer-Kinser testified in his own defense during trial, he admitted his sexual fetish for children.

“Our office will use every tool at our disposal to combat the sexual exploitation of children, to bring perpetrators to justice, and vindicate the rights of victims, “ said U.S. Attorney Ison.

“Preying on the innocence of children is disturbing and equally traumatizing,” said Cheyvoryea Gibson, Special Agent in charge of the FBI in Michigan. “A turning point, in this case, was a concerned and brave citizen reporting this exploitation to law enforcement. We, as a society, must stand up for the vulnerable and hold those who prey on innocent children accountable for their reprehensible actions. Our office will use every resource available to bring individuals who repeatedly prey on and victimize innocent children to justice.”

The case was investigated by special agents of the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Erin Shaw and Maggie Smith.

Updated March 15, 2024

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