Justice Department Recognizes Human Trafficking Survivor and Advocate from Washington with Special Courage Award
A 47-year old Olympia, Washington man was found guilty late yesterday of production and possession of child pornography following a two day bench trial in U.S. District Court in Tacoma, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. MICHAEL T. LAURSEN, supplied a 16-year-old with drugs and photographed her in sexually explicit conduct. U.S. District Judge Robert J. Bryan found LAURSEN guilty and set sentencing for August 8, 2014. LAURSEN faces a mandatory minimum 15 years to 30 years in prison.
According to records filed in the case, the victim was known to LAURSEN through her relatives. She first met LAURSEN when she was 12-years-old. After she turned 16 years old in 2012, LAURSEN initiated a sexual relationship with her, supplied her with drugs, and encouraged her to miss school. In June 2012 and October 2012, LAURSEN took photographs of the victim, including photographs of his sexual conduct with her. LAURSEN encouraged the victim to run away from home, and then had her stay with him in motel rooms, apartments, and other person’s homes, while also directing her to engage in sexually explicit acts and taking photographs of her.
The case was investigated by the Washington State Patrol-Missing and Exploited Children’s Task Force, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)-South Sound Investigative Task Force, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ye-Ting Woo and Special Assistant United States Attorney Seth Wilkinson.