Baltimore, Maryland – A federal grand jury has indicted Michael L. Fischer, age 42, of Toledo, Ohio, for transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. The indictment was returned on December 18, 2014, and unsealed today. Fischer had his initial appearance in Maryland today and is detained pending trial. Fischer has been detained since his arrest on Friday, December 19, 2014, in Toldeo, Ohio. An arraignment has been scheduled for Michael Fischer on February 6, 2015, in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.
The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation - Baltimore; Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony of the Federal Bureau of Investigation – Cleveland, Ohio; Commissioner Anthony W. Batts of the Baltimore Police Department; and Lt. Colonel Anthony C. Satchell, Acting Superintendent of the Maryland State Police.
According to the indictment, Fischer and the victim communicated using chat rooms, social media, and telephone during the summer and fall of 2014. Fischer was told by the victim that she was 15 years old, prior to Fischer meeting the girl in person. The indictment alleges that in August and September 2014, Fischer travelled from Ohio to Maryland and engaged in sexual activity with the girl. The indictment alleges that after travelling from Ohio to Maryland to pick up the girl, on September 20, 2014, Fischer and another person transported the girl to Fischer’s home in Toledo. Between September 20 and 26, 2014, Fischer engaged in sexual conduct with the victim in Ohio.
According to the indictment, on September 23, 2014, Fischer was contacted by law enforcement regarding the victim’s whereabouts. The indictment alleges that Fischer denied knowing where the girl was and suggested to law enforcement that he believed she may be in Florida. According to the indictment, on September 24, 2014, Fischer dropped the girl off at a store in Toledo before meeting with law enforcement. During the meeting, Fischer again denied knowledge of the girl’s whereabouts. After the meeting, Fischer allegedly transported the girl from Ohio to Brighton, Michigan, and left the girl with one of his relatives.
Fischer faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison followed by up to lifetime of supervised release for transportation of a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
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 individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc and click on the “resources” tab on the left of the page.
The case was investigated by the FBI-led Maryland Child Exploitation Task Force (MCETF), created in 2010 to combat child prostitution, with members from10 state and federal law enforcement agencies. The Task Force coordinates with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Maryland State Police Child Recovery Unit to identify missing children.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI Baltimore, Cleveland, Ohio and Detroit, Michigan Field Offices, the Baltimore Police Department, Maryland State Police, and the Toledo Child Exploitation Task Force for their work in the investigation, and thanked the Brighton, Michigan Police Department, the Livonia, Michigan Police Department and the Michigan State Police for their assistance. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Zachary A. Myers, who is prosecuting the case.