Previously Convicted Child Sex Offender, Shane Scott, Sentenced To 33 Years After Using Prison Mail System To Coerce And Entice A Mentally Disabled Child
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – Shane Scott, age 41, of Coldwater, Michigan, received a sentence of 33 years in federal prison for attempting to coerce or entice a mentally disabled 17-year-old into sex, U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles announced today.
Scott committed the offense while incarcerated at the Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility serving a sentence for criminal sexual conduct involving a 12-year-old girl in 2000. Scott committed the 2000 criminal sexual conduct offense just three months after being released from prison on a previous child sexual abuse conviction in Alabama. Between August 2014 and January 2015, he used the prison mail system to write countless times to a woman whose daughter he wanted to have sex with as soon as he was released. The 17-year-old daughter has severe mental disabilities, and Scott admitted that he knew that she had the mental capacity of someone well under age 10 and that she would not understand what sex was. Scott was scheduled for release from Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility on February 14, 2015, but authorities arrested him on the federal charge of attempted coercion or enticement just prior to his release. Scott pled guilty to the charge in January 2016.
Scott’s efforts to set up a sexual encounter with the child were persistent and detailed. He sent numerous letters directing the girl’s mother to make arrangements so he could sexually molest the child in a car and at his workplace. He specifically requested that the mother tattoo the girl, send him sexually explicit pictures of the girl, and sexually molest the child for him. Scott stated that the mother was the one who initially proposed the idea of Scott having sex with the daughter, but the mother backed out and Scott spent five months trying to persuade her to allow him to do it, thereby attempting to coerce or entice the child into sex with him through the mother as the intermediary. Scott admitted to authorities that he would have gone through with having sex with the child if law enforcement had not intervened. The child’s mother was convicted in state court for this and a related offense and is now serving up to seven years in prison.
In delivering the 33-year sentence, U.S. District Judge Paul L. Maloney described this offense as "shocking" and "virtually incomprehensible" in its gravity. Judge Maloney described Scott as "a predator" who is "virtually certain to reoffend" without a lengthy term of incarceration to incapacitate him. He ordered that the 33-year prison term – which was above the recommended guideline range – be followed by 20 years of supervised release, which will subject Scott to intensive federal monitoring and supervision.2
"If not for careful screening and monitoring of inmate mail by the Michigan Department of Corrections staff at the Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility, this predator would have carried out his perverse plan and victimized a child who never could have reported it," stated U.S. Attorney Miles. "This case represents the priority that West Michigan law enforcement agencies place on collaborating to protect the most vulnerable among us."
"Mr. Scott’s propensity, ambition, and planning to offend again once he was released is disturbing, and it is gratifying to see justice served against someone who was plotting to choose among the most vulnerable of our society to victimize so egregiously," said David P. Gelios, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Detroit Division. "It is our law enforcement partners who got us this result. From the Michigan Dept. of Corrections, to the Social Security Administration, the Ionia County Sheriff’s Office, and the Michigan State Police: their partnership with us kept a predator off the streets, and a vulnerable victim safe."
This case resulted from a joint investigation by the FBI, Michigan State Police, Michigan Department of Corrections, Social Security Administration, and Ionia County Sheriff’s Office working under the FBI’s West Michigan Based Child Exploitation Task Force (WEBCHEX). Assistant U.S. Attorney Tessa K. Hessmiller prosecuted the federal case as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from exploitation and abuse. The U.S. Attorney’s Office; county prosecutor’s offices; and federal, state, and local law enforcement are working closely together to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children. Individuals with information or concerns about possible child exploitation should contact local law enforcement. For more information about Project Safe Childhood in West Michigan, visit: http://www.justice.gov/usao/miw/programs/psc.html.