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Press Release

48-Year-Old Evansville Man Sentenced to 25 Years in Federal Prison for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor Girl

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Indiana

EVANSVILLE – Michael Lesean Franklin, 51, of Evansville, was sentenced to 300 months in federal prison for sexual exploitation of a child.

According to court documents, Franklin was arrested on state child molestation charges on March 1, 2020. Investigators examined his smartphone and discovered that Franklin used the device to photograph himself engaged in sex acts with a minor female child under the age of 16 on at least three separate occasions in early 2020. Franklin’s smartphone also contained additional sexually explicit images of the child.

Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, Herbert J. Stapleton, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Indianapolis Field Office, and Chief Billy Bolin, Evansville Police Department made the announcement.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Evansville Police Department investigated the case. The Vanderburgh County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office also provided valuable assistance.

The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Richard L. Young following Franklin’s guilty plea. As part of the sentence, Judge Young ordered that the Franklin be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for 10 years following his release from prison. Franklin must also register as sex offender wherever he lives, works, or goes to school, as required by law.

U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd S. Shellenbarger who prosecuted this case.

Updated July 6, 2022