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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 20, 2016

San Jose Man Convicted On Sex Tourism And Obstruction Charges

SAN FRANCISCO – A federal jury convicted Michael Lindsay of traveling with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places, attempted witness tampering, and obstruction of justice announced United States Attorney Brian J. Stretch and Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”) Special Agent in Charge Ryan Spradlin.

In its verdict, handed down late yesterday, the jury found that defendant traveled from San Francisco to Manila, the capital of the Republic of the Philippines, intending to have sex with a minor, and had sex with a minor while there.  The jury also found that defendant attempted to tamper with a witness and obstructed justice.  The guilty verdict followed a 4-day jury trial before the Honorable Charles R. Breyer, U.S. District Judge.

The evidence at trial established that Lindsay, 56, of San Jose, owned a condominium in the Manila area, and frequently traveled there.  During trips in May and August of 2012, Lindsay had sex with a 13-year-old girl.  Evidence at trial showed that defendant used instant messaging to communicate with the girl’s mother and arrange meetings for sex.  After meetings, defendant paid the girl’s mother.  In addition, defendant’s later email communications established that after a federal grand jury charged him, he engaged in attempted witness tampering and obstruction of justice.

On December 13, 2012, a grand jury returned an indictment charging defendant with traveling with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2423(b), and one count of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2423(c).  On February 9, 2016, a federal grand jury returned a second superseding indictment, adding charges of attempted witness tampering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(b), and obstruction of justice, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1503.

The investigation began when the HSI received a report in the Philippines that defendant had sex with a minor while in the Philippines, and that he paid the minor’s mother.  HSI arrested defendant on November 8, 2012, at San Francisco International Airport, when he attempted to return to the Philippines for another visit.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Laura Vartain and Katherine Wawryzniak are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Helen Yee, Theresa Benitez, and Patricia Mahoney.  This prosecution is the result of HSI investigations in both the Philippines and the United States.  

Defendant is currently in custody.  Defendant's sentencing hearing is scheduled for August 3, 2012, before Judge Breyer in San Francisco.  The maximum statutory penalty for each count in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2423(b) and 18 U.S.C. § 2423(c) is 30 years, the maximum penalty for attempted witness tampering in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(b) is 20 years, and the maximum penalty for obstruction of justice in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1503 is 10 years.  In addition, the maximum fine is $250,000 for each count, plus restitution.  However, any sentence will be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Updated September 13, 2017