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Press Release

San Jose Man Sentenced To Eight Years In Prison For Sex Tourism And Obstruction Of Justice

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of California

SAN FRANCISCO – Michael Lindsay was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment yesterday after being convicted 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 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Ryan L. Spradlin. The sentence was handed down by Honorable Charles R. Breyer, U.S. District Judge.

Lindsay, 56, of San Jose, was convicted after a 4-day jury that concluded on May 19, 2016.  The jury found that Lindsay traveled from San Francisco to Manila, the capital of the Republic of the Philippines, intending to have sex with a 13-year-old girl.  He used instant messaging to communicate with the girl’s mother and to arrange meetings for sex.  During trips to Manila in May and August of 2012, Lindsay had sex with the minor and paid the girl’s mother.  HSI arrested Lindsay on November 8, 2012, at San Francisco International Airport, when he attempted to return to the Philippines for another visit.

“Sex tourism is a dangerous and insidious industry,” said U.S. Attorney Brian J. Stretch.   “Today’s sentence serves as a reminder that U.S. law reaches and punishes those who, like the defendant, exploit the poverty and vulnerability of young children wherever in the world they may live in order to engage in illicit sexual conduct.”

“This sentence has brought accountability for the heinous actions of the defendant,” said Ryan L. Spradlin, special agent in charge of HSI San Francisco. “Sex tourism is a cruel global underground industry. HSI will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to pursue anyone who seeks to exploit innocent victims through this crime.”

On December 13, 2012, a grand jury returned an indictment charging Lindsay 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).  Email communications established that after a federal grand jury charged him, Lindsay engaged in attempted witness tampering and obstruction of justice.  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. He was convicted on counts.

Judge Breyer also ordered a five-year term of supervised release, which includes a requirement that defendant register as a sex offender. 

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.  

Updated September 20, 2016

Human Trafficking