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Press Release

Grant County Man Sentenced to More Than 22 Years for Production and Attempted Production of Child Pornography

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

Spokane, WA – On October 11, 2023, U.S. District Judge Thomas O. Rice sentenced Michael Gene Rice, 49, of Soap Lake, Washington, to 264 months and 27 days in federal prison for Production and Attempted Production of Child Pornography. Defendant Rice pleaded guilty on July 13, 2023. Judge Rice also ordered Defendant Rice to pay $48,000 in restitution to his victim and be federally supervised for the rest of his life after being released from custody.

According to court documents and proceedings, Rice was apprehended after an 11-year-old girl disclosed that Rice directed her to record herself on a phone engaging in sexually explicit conduct. The recorded footage was later found in Rice’s iCloud account. The Grant County Prosecutor’s Office successfully prosecuted Rice on charges of First Degree Dealing in and Possession of Child Pornography, resulting in guilty verdicts after a jury trial. Sentencing is pending in that case.

Rice previously was convicted of Rape of a Child in the First Degree in 2002, for which he received a suspended sentence. The victim in that case was also 11 years old.

Combined with the time Rice spent in state custody prior to appearing in federal court – 338 days, the federal sentence results in confinement of Rice for a total 23 years. “Protecting our children is a top priority of my office,” U.S. Attorney Vanessa Waldref said. “Mr. Rice repeatedly engaged in harmful conduct taking advantage of our youth in the Eastern District of Washington. With our strong partnership with state and local law enforcement and prosecutors, we were able to successfully remove Mr. Rice from the streets and prevent him from further victimizing the most vulnerable among us.”

“Grant County is a safer place after this significant sentencing,” said Special Agent in Charge Robert Hammer, who oversees Homeland Security Investigations operations in the Pacific Northwest. “HSI and our law enforcement partners are relentless in protecting the children of our communities and this result should serve as a warning to others that seek to target our children.”

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the Grant County Sheriff’s Office and prosecuted by Ann T. Wick, Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington. The Grant County case is being handled by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Carlee Bittle, who is also a Special Assistant United States Attorney.



Rob Curry
Public Affairs Specialist 
509-835-6333 or

Updated October 17, 2023

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