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Child Exploitation
03/14/2012

Convicted rapist sentenced to prison for coercing a minor to engage in sex

GREENBELT, Md. — A Maryland man was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for coercing a 13-year-old girl to have sex just after completing his prison sentence and probation for raping another 13-year-old girl, following an investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Michael Allen Alper, 35, of Silver Spring, Md., was sentenced Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus to 14 years in prison, followed by supervised release for life, for coercing a minor to engage in sex. He also admitted to raping a 14-year-old girl. Judge Titus ordered that upon his release from prison, Alper must register as a sex offender in the place where he resides, where he is an employee and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).

According to Alper's plea agreement, in the fall of 2003 when he was 27 years old and living in Virginia, he met a 13-year-old girl and 14-year-old girl on separate Internet websites, who each lived in Virginia. On separate occasions, Alper caused each victim to sneak out of her house and meet him in his car, which he parked at the end of each victim's street. Alper took the 14-year-old victim into a nearby woods where he forced her to engage in a sex act. Alper continued to chat with the victim online and met the victim a second time and had sexual intercourse with her. He had sex with the 13-year-old victim in the back seat of his car. That victim reported the rape to her school counselor. Alper was convicted of statutory rape in Fairfax County, Va., and sentenced to three years in prison, with all but six months suspended, and three years supervised probation.

In February 2010, a month after Alper's probation ended from the 2003 rape conviction, Alper, who was then 33 years old at the time, attended an anime and gaming conference at a hotel in Oxon Hill, Md. He met another 13-year-old girl (the third victim), introducing himself as Michael Allen and contacted her afterwards on Facebook using that same name. On March 26, 2010, Alper arranged via the Internet and cell phone for the victim to travel to a train station in Washington, D.C. Alper picked her up and drove her to his home where he engaged in sexually explicit conduct with the victim. Alper and the victim continued to communicate on Facebook. On March 31, 2010, while the victim stayed overnight at a friend's house, Alper contacted the victim via Facebook and convinced the victim to sneak out of her friend's house to meet him. Thereafter, Alper drove the victim to a wooded area where he engaged in sexually explicit conduct with the victim before returning the victim to her friend's home. The victim later discovered Alper's true identity when a friend found Alper's sex offender registration under his real name.

After Alper's identity as a sex offender was discovered, Alper created another online profile in the fictitious name of Veronica Lacy. As Veronica Lacy, Alper contacted the third victim and expressed concern that the police may be contacted, lied about the charges that led to the sex offender conviction and advised that third victim that Alper couldn't afford to get into trouble because his father was ill.

Attempted sexual exploitation of children is punishable by at least 10 years and up to life in prison.

The investigation was conducted by HSI Baltimore, the Fairfax County Police Department, Virginia Police Department and the U.S. Park Police.

The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney LisaMarie Freitas, assigned from the Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacy Dawson Belf.

As part of Operation Predator, HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or its online tip form. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.