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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Muskegon Man Sentenced To 30 Years In Federal Prison For Producing Child Pornography

          GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – Eric Matthew Will, 35, of Muskegon, Michigan was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for producing child pornography, U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge announced today. In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Paul L. Maloney imposed a 20-year term of supervised release that will commence once Will is released from imprisonment. Will will also be required to register as a sexual offender.

          Will pled guilty on January 2, 2018. He admitted that he had created pornographic images and videos of a 14-year-old child and then sent them to others via the Internet. One of the people to whom Will sent child pornography was an undercover officer, and Will was arrested days after he did so.

          In its sentencing memorandum, the U.S. Attorney’s Office argued in favor of the thirty-year sentence and pointed out that Will had sexually abused and exploited the victim for years. In addition, Will had tried to sell his collection of child pornography to the undercover officer for $1,000. "Crimes involving the sexual exploitation of children are among the most serious offenses there are," and the victim in this case "was particularly vulnerable." At sentencing, the United States emphasized the need to protect the community and punish Will, and it argued that a 30-year sentence was necessary and appropriate to achieve the goals of sentencing. Judge Maloney agreed, noting that Will’s case was the worst case he had seen in 20 years on the bench.

          This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. The U.S. Attorney's Office, county prosecutor's offices, the Internet Crimes Against Children task force (ICAC), federal, state, and local law enforcement are working closely together to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children. The partners in Project Safe Childhood work to educate local communities about the dangers of online child exploitation, and to teach children how to protect themselves. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit the following web site: www.projectsafechildhood.gov. Individuals with information or concerns about possible child exploitation should contact local law enforcement officials.

          The Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean M. Lewis prosecuted the case.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated May 1, 2018