Ohio Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Charge of Transporting a Minor to Engage in Illegal Sexual Activity
Baltimore, Maryland –Michael L. Fischer, age 42, of Toledo, Ohio, pleaded guilty today to the federal charge of transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. Fisher admitted that he transported a girl from Maryland to Ohio to engage in sexual activity.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Kevin Perkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation - Baltimore; Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony of the Federal Bureau of Investigation – Cleveland, Ohio; Commissioner Kevin Davis of the Baltimore Police Department; and Colonel William M. Pallozzi, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police.
According to his plea agreement, in the summer of 2014, Fischer and the victim met online and communicated using chat rooms, social media, and telephone during the summer and fall of 2014. The victim told Fischer that she was 15 years old from their earliest communications, and prior to Fischer meeting the victim in person. In August and early September 2014, Fischer travelled from Ohio to Maryland and engaged in sexual activity with the girl. On September 19, 2014, Fisher and his wife travelled from Ohio to Maryland and picked the girl up near her home in the early morning of September 20, 2014. Fischer and his wife then transported the girl to Fischer’s home in Toledo. At the time, Fisher’s wife was not aware that Fisher had been engaging in sexual conduct with the victim. Between September 20 and 26, 2014, Fischer engaged in sexual conduct with the victim in Ohio.
On September 23, 2014, the Fischers were contacted by law enforcement regarding the victim’s whereabouts. According to his plea agreement, prior to meeting with law enforcement, the Fischers dropped the victim off at a store in Toledo. Fischer lied to law enforcement officers that he did not know where the victim was and suggested to law enforcement that he believed she may be in Florida. After the meeting, Fischer transported the victim from Ohio to Brighton, Michigan, and left the victim with one of his relatives. She was recovered by law enforcement officers two days later.
Fischer and the government have agreed that if the Court accepts the plea agreement Fischer will be sentenced to between 84 and 151 months in prison, followed by between 10 and 20 years of supervised release. U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander has scheduled sentencing for October 20, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.
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. Attorneys Zachary A. Myers and Ayn B. Ducao, who are prosecuting the case.