Articles Posted in Child Sexually Abusive Actvity or Materials

Original Case Details

49-year-old Michael Clune is facing sex offense charges in three different northern Michigan counties after new charges were announced against him by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office. In Roscommon and Shiawassee Counties, Clune is accused of using the internet to meet underage boys for sex. It is alleged that at least one of these meetings led to a sexual encounter in Shiawassee County. A search of Clune’s residence led investigators to find electronic devices at the home that resulted in criminal charges for what was found on the devices. Clune is alleged to have used the dating app Grindr to meet victims and form relationships with them. Before the announcement of charges in Roscommon and Shiawassee Counties, Clune was already awaiting trial on similar sex offense charges in Clare County. Once it became apparent that the cases against Clune would span across multiple counties, the Michigan Attorney General’s Office got involved, which led to Clune facing charges in three separate jurisdictions. If you are facing a sex offense charge, then it is important to speak to an experienced Michigan sex crime defense attorney immediately.

Criminal Charges & Potential Penalties

Original Case Details

A Michigan couple from the Huron County city of Sebewaing has pled guilty to federal charges related to allegations of possessing and distributing child pornography. 28-year-old Tyler Zimmerman appeared in the United States District Court in Bay City and pled guilty to a single count of distribution and receipt of child pornography. In the plea agreement, Zimmerman admits that in a specific period in the fall of 2018, he shared a video, three photographs and a gif containing child pornography with others on Tumblr in order to receive similar types of material. Upon investigation of Zimmerman’s cell phone, investigators found over 150 videos and images of underage children in sexually explicit circumstances. The plea agreement further states that at least 13 of the images that Zimmerman was in possession of were identified as those of missing children. He admitted to looking at child porn because “it made him feel like he was in school again.” Zimmerman’s girlfriend, 24-year-old Dana Taggart, was implicated when Zimmerman’s Facebook account was searched, and it was discovered that Zimmerman had received five child porn videos from Taggart in April of 2019. Taggart has separately pled guilty in the same United States District Court to one count of transportation of obscene matters in her own federal criminal case. Being charged with any criminal offense is a serious matter, and you should seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney if you are facing criminal charges.

Criminal Charges and Potential Penalties

Original Case Details

A Kalamazoo man was arrested on February 13, 2020 in connection with a bank robbery that occurred in Kalamazoo. The man allegedly went inside the downtown Kalamazoo Chase Bank unarmed and demanded money from a bank employee. He was given an amount of money by that employee and then took off. Surveillance footage was release by the police not long after the robbery. Detectives recognized the man from the footage and tracked him down to a residence and arrested him roughly 24 hours later. According to a federal complaint filed in U.S. District Court, the man admitted to robbing the bank and leaving with about $7,000 in cash. He also told the officer than he had already spent approximately $2,000 at a local strip club. He is facing a maximum prison sentence of up to 20 years and/or up to a $250,000 fine.

Where Is The Child Pornography Connection?

In Saline County, AR, the small community of Haskell is divided in their reactions to the arrest of 32-year-old Kyle Vaughan, who was arrested recently and fired from his job as a Haskell police officer, charged with sexual assault involving a juvenile, and child pornography.

According to news reports, the Haskell Police Dept. is located directly across the street from the school, and officers direct school traffic. Some parents and grandparents are shocked at the fact that a potential child predator could have been watching over their children, while those who know Vaughn have a difficult time believing the accusations are true, calling him “a family man, not a pedophile.”

Arkansas State Police took Vaughn into custody on the afternoon of Monday, August 17. At the time of news reports, he was being held in the Saline County Jail on charges of computer child pornography, failure to report, distribution or possession of material depicting explicit images, and second-degree sexual assault on a juvenile. Authorities began investigating Vaughn in May of this year. He has been terminated from the Haskell Police Dept.

On Monday, March 9, 23-year-old Kevin Motyka of Howell Township, NJ pleaded guilty to allegations that he sexually assaulted a 2-year-old boy between May and December of 2012. Motyka pleaded guilty to child endangerment, aggravated sexual assault, and other charges. He also reportedly recorded the sexual assault on the toddler.

In 2014, prosecutors received tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children regarding Motyka’s actions; he was then arrested.

In all, Motyka pleaded guilty on Monday to three counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child by causing or permitting a child to engage in child pornography, manufacturing child pornography, and distributing child pornography. He also pleaded guilty to first-degree aggravated sexual assault and one count of third-degree endangering the welfare of a child by engaging in sexual conduct with a child, according to a news article at the Howell Patch. Motyka also allegedly distributed child pornography including images that were of other children and not the toddler he is accused of sexually assaulting.

Recently, a 63-year-old Flint man whose name has not been revealed as he is awaiting arraignment was charged with 18 counts of criminal sexual conduct and child pornography. The man, who was arrested in Kentucky, is being extradited back to Genesee County for court proceedings, according to news reports. At the time, it was not known if the suspect would fight the extradition.

A warrant for the man’s arrest was authorized by the Genesee County Prosecutor’s Office in late September, according to Prosecutor David Leyton.

The man is charged in all with 18 counts including two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, seven counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, and nine counts which are related to the manufacture, possession, and distribution of child pornography. Charges were filed after one of the alleged victims told a family member about the abuse, which occurred in Flint. Apparently, the alleged victim told her cousin about the abuse which led to further family discussion about the matter.

Brian Sevrey, a 56-year-old Cadillac man who is accused of child pornography, was facing state charges in Wexford County in connection with allegedly sexually exploiting a 2-year-old girl, according to news articles at  Sevrey will now face federal charges as an indictment has been filed and Sevrey transferred to Grand Rapids from the Wexford County Jail.

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children was notified by Google; Michigan State Police were then notified by the agency of Sevrey’s activities which allegedly included using a computer to commit a crime.  In all, Sevrey faces five charges which include child sexually abusive activity and distributing child pornography.  If convicted of the charges against him, Sevrey will spend a minimum of 15 years in prison, and up to 30.

Court records revealed that Sevrey had the 2-year-old girl engage in conduct that was “sexually explicit” so that he could photograph her private areas.  According to the indictment filed in Grand Rapids U.S. District Court, the defendant also touched the girl while photographing her.  Sevrey was scheduled for an arraignment and detention hearing on April 28 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Hugh Brenneman Jr., and is being held without bond. Continue reading

On April 23, a man and woman who were once Mecosta County Township officials pleaded no contest to charges stemming from an investigation into sexual assault and child abuse, according to a news article at  48-year-old Cathleen Martin pleaded no contest to third-degree child abuse, while 71-year-old Jack Bark pleaded no contest to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Both Martin and Bark resigned their positions with the township just after the sexual allegations were revealed.  Martin was the township’s clerk, while Bark was Fork Township supervisor.  Each of the two was employed by the township for approximately 20 years.  While Martin is married to another man according to authorities, she and Bark reportedly live together in Barryton.

Prior to pleading no contest to the charges, Bark and Martin were facing multiple charges which included first-degree criminal sexual conduct, the most serious sex charge in Michigan which involves penetration.  Bark was also facing second-degree CSC while Martin was facing charges of first- and second-degree child abuse. Bark and Martin are alleged to have begun assaulting three of Martin’s relatives in 2009.  A sentencing date had not been revealed at the time of news reports, although the two defendants were lodged on a $5 million bond. Continue reading

On Monday March 31, Jackson County District Judge Michael Klaeren found that there was probable cause to send the case of a 73-year-old Jackson man accused of sexually abusing three young girls to circuit court. Dwight Edward Rupert has been charged with four counts each of first- and second-degree criminal sexual conduct in a case involving three girls he once babysat, according to news reports at

The alleged victims who are now ages 7, 8, and 9, testified on Monday in a courtroom which was closed to the public. The three girls are sisters according to the report, two of them biological sisters and one a stepsister. The girls were allegedly sexually abused between June of 2011 and May of 2013. Rupert is accused of touching the girls in a sexual manner during this time, and committing acts that involve penetration with two of the victims.

Rupert was considered “family,” according to the 9-year-old girl’s mother, who said that the girl’s grandmother and Rupert’s wife are close friends. She testified that she contacted authorities last summer after she and her husband were told bout the sexual abuse by the girls.

If convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, Rupert could spend the rest of his life in prison.

First-degree CSC is the most serious of all sex crimes, and involves penetration. Individuals who are found guilty of this offense may be sentenced to a maximum prison term of life in prison.

Criminal cases involving young children are extremely delicate. While there is no doubt that children are sexually abused every day in our country, there are also many instances in which innocent individuals are falsely accused of these heinous crimes. Children are easily influenced, and often coerced by adults to make up stories that aren’t true. Hopefully the truth will win out in this case.

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On Monday August 26, 50-year-old Michael John Larson was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for child pornography distribution. Larson, who is a registered sex offender previously convicted on sex-related charges involving a child, allegedly distributed child pornography on the Internet.

In April of this year, Larson pleaded guilty to one count of distributing child pornography; federal court records indicate that a second count of possessing child porn was dismissed by the U.S. Attorney’s office in exchange for Larson’s guilty plea. Following a federal investigation involving child pornography occurring via peer-to-peer Internet file sharing, Larson was arrested in October of last year. On Monday, District Judge Robert Holmes Bell sentenced Larson to 15 years in federal prison followed by 10 years of supervised release.

Authorities found sexual images of children on Larson’s home computer after executing a search warrant; this followed the discovery of sexual images of prepubescent girls by a Grand Rapids based Homeland Security Investigations agent on a computer linked to the defendant. After pleading guilty to child pornography distribution in April, Larson has been lodged in the Newaygo County Jail. He is scheduled to be assigned to a federal penitentiary now that he has been sentenced.

In 1996, Larson was convicted on a charge of second-degree CSC with a person younger than 13; he served time in state prison from 1996 until his discharge in September of 2003.

All Michigan child pornography lawyers know how serious these types of accusations are, and the consequences for those who are convicted of what many feel are the most ‘heinous’ sexual crimes that can be committed. When a sex crime allegedly involves young children, the punishment is extremely harsh. At the same time, it is often the case that individuals are falsely accused as children may be coerced by adults who have an “ax to grind” into saying things that simply are not true.

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