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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Alabama

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 16, 2022

Lauderdale County Man Sentenced to 70 Years in Prison for Sexual Exploitation of Children

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A federal judge yesterday sentenced a Lauderdale County man for sexually exploiting a young child, announced U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona and FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp, Jr.

U.S. District Judge Madeline H. Haikala sentenced Michael Tays, 36, of  Florence, to  840 months in prison followed by lifetime of supervised release for producing and possessing child pornography.  On March 21, 2022, Tays pleaded guilty to 20 counts of production of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.

According to statements made in open court, Tays sexually abused an eight-year-old child repeatedly, and he recorded the brutality through photographs and videos. This conviction will require Tays to register as a sex offender in accordance with the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). 

“There is no place in our communities for those who prey on vulnerable children,” U.S. Attorney Escalona said. “This sentence effectively ensures that Tays will spend the rest of his life in prison. Through collaborative law enforcement efforts, we continue to investigate and prosecute those responsible for these horrific crimes.” 

“Children are among the most vulnerable victims, and individuals, like Tays, who exploit them must be held accountable for their reprehensible actions,” SAC Sharp said. “Thanks to the efforts of the FBI’s Child Exploitation Human Trafficking Task Force  and our partners, this predator will be held accountable for his actions and be identified as a sex offender.”

FBI Birmingham’s Child Exploitation Human Trafficking Task Force investigated the case, along with the St. Florian Police Department and Lauderdale County Sheriff’s office.   Assistant U.S. Attorney R. Leann White prosecuted the case.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched by the Department of Justice in May 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s 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, and to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated September 16, 2022