A Randolph man was indicted today in federal court in Boston on child pornography charges.
Michael Lee, 51, was indicted on one count of sexual exploitation of children and one count each of distribution, receipt, and possession of child pornography. In December 2017, Lee was charged in a criminal complaint and arrested and has been in federal custody since.
According to court records, a search warrant at Lee’s Randolph home was conducted as part of an ongoing investigation into the online trade of child pornography through the use of Kik, an instant messaging app. Lee admitted to the agents to trading images and videos of child pornography with other Kik users, including a New Hampshire man who provided Lee with images and videos documenting the sexual abuse of the man’s eight-year-old daughter. Preliminary on-scene forensic analysis of Lee’s cell phone corroborated his admissions.
The charge of sexual exploitation of children carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years and up to 30 years in prison. The charge of possession of child pornography carries a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison. The charges of distribution and receipt of child pornography carry a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and up to 20 years in prison. All four charges provide for a minimum of five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Office, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne Paruti, Lelling’s Project Safe Childhood Coordinator and a member of the Major Crimes Unit, is prosecuting the case.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The case is brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In 2006, the Department of Justice created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov/.