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Press Release

Navy officer, psychologist sentenced for attempting to sexually coerce a minor

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

NORFOLK, Va. – A Navy psychologist was sentenced today to 14 years in prison for attempted coercion and enticement of a minor.

According to court documents, on May 25, 2023, Michael Andrew Widroff, 34, was a U.S. Navy officer serving as a psychologist in Norfolk when he came to the attention of law enforcement. On the Whisper social media platform, Widroff posted a picture of a male dressed in a U.S. Navy Service Dress White uniform with accompanying text indicating that he wished to engage in fraternization or other violations of military law. In the military context, fraternization is improper relationships between officers and enlisted personnel, including, as stated by Widroff, “when 2 people who aren’t supposed to date-hook up do.” The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) responded to the post in an undercover capacity as a 14-year-old girl.

Believing he was communicating with a child, Widroff moved the conversation to Snapchat and escalated the communications from casual to sexual. Widroff described to the child, in graphic detail, numerous sexual acts in which he wanted them to engage. Widroff requested “sexy” and nude photos of the child as well as sexually explicit recordings. Widroff then attempted to arrange for them to meet, repeatedly asking her to share the location of her house. Expressing anxiety about being seen, Widroff planned to enter her home through the back door.

On June 7, 2023, when Widroff arrived in the neighborhood where he intended to meet a 14-year-old to engage in sex, law enforcement performed a traffic stop on Widroff. As was being pulled over, Widroff deleted Snapchat from his phone.

Widroff pled guilty on Oct. 12, 2023.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Mack Hickman, Special Agent in Charge of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth W. Hanes.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Victoria Liu and Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Yusi prosecuted the case.

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 U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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 to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:23-cr-78.


Press Officer

Updated May 24, 2024

Project Safe Childhood