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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Vermont

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Sex Offender Sentenced To 10-Year Prison Term

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that on August 29, 2016, Michael E. Fisher was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison by Chief United States District Court Judge Christina Reiss.

In February and March, 2015, Fisher contacted several Burlington area middle school girls, aged 12-14, through Facebook. The girls reported the contacts to their parents and to the Burlington Police Department. Fisher was a registered sex offender at the time, based upon a prior Vermont felony conviction. In response, Vermont’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (“ICAC”) initiated an investigation. ICAC official and South Burlington Police Sergeant Andrew Chaulk made undercover contact with Fisher on Facebook, posing as a 13-year-old middle school student. Over the course of three days, Fisher sent a multitude of Facebook messages to the purported student, pressing her to have sex with him. He urged her to meet him at Dorset Street Park in South Burlington at Noon on April 3, 3015, to have sex in a public restroom. Upon arrival at the park on April 3 at Noon, he was arrested by a U.S. Secret Service agent assisting in the investigation, and Sgt. Chaulk.

In March, 2016, Fisher was convicted after a jury trial in Burlington of attempting to persuade, induce, entice or coerce a minor to engage in illegal sex, using a facility of interstate commerce.

Under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, based upon the offense and his recidivism, Fisher’s imprisonment range was 151-188 months. The federal statute under which he was convicted provided for a mandatory minimum 10 years of imprisonment. At a sentencing hearing on August 29, Chief Judge Reiss imposed the 10-year term, to be followed by 10 years of supervised release.

Fisher has been in custody since his 2015 arrest. The United States Attorney thanked the Burlington Police Department, the South Burlington Police Department, ICAC, and the U.S. Secret Service for their work on the case. Fisher was represented by Federal Public Defender Michael Desautels. The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys William Darrow and Kunal Pasricha.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated September 14, 2016