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Child Exploitation

Oregon man sentenced to 49 years following his child pornography guilty plea

PORTLAND, Ore. – An Oregon man was sentenced on Tuesday to 49 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to 27 child pornography offenses stemming from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Michael J. Marceau, 43, of Aloha, Ore., appeared in court June 21 before Senior U.S. District Judge Ancer L. Haggerty. In addition to the lengthy jail term, Marceau will also be subject to a life term of supervised release following his incarceration. As part of his supervised release, Marceau will be subject to stringent conditions, including limitations on where he can reside, on his association with minors, and on his use of computers. Previously, Marceau pleaded guilty to 12 counts of producing child pornography, 12 counts of being a parent or guardian and allowing a child to be used to produce child pornography, and one count each of transporting, receiving, and possessing child pornography.

Marceau is also awaiting sentencing in Washington County, after pleading guilty to multiple counts of sodomy, unlawful sexual penetration, first-degree rape, first-degree sexual abuse, and using a child in a display of sexually explicit conduct. The Washington County charges arise from the same conduct that underlies the federal offenses.

"This sentence was eminently just, given the horrific acts Mr. Marceau committed against his two stepchildren," said Oregon U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton. "They were so incredibly vulnerable, and they were abused by the two people whose primary job was to protect and nurture them. This case was particularly aggravated because of the girl's very young age, and because the boy, while older, was so severely handicapped that he could neither communicate nor care for himself."

The U.S. Attorney praised the cooperative and collaborative efforts of the federal and local law enforcement agents and prosecutors "who saw to it that justice was served, and that Mr. Marceau will never again be in a position to harm a child."

Marceau came to the attention of law enforcement authorities after exchanging a series of e-mails with another person (who turned out to be an employee of the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs) pertaining to the sexual abuse of children. The federal employee misused his government computer to access his personal e-mail account, through which he communicated with Marceau and traded images of child pornography with him. The Department of the Interior turned the matter over to its Office of Inspector General, which, in turn, sought assistance from ICE HSI. The employee no longer works at the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

ICE HSI agents served a federal search warrant at the Aloha, Ore., residence Marceau shared with his wife and co-defendant, Lisa Ford, and Ford's two children, a 6-year-old girl and a severely disabled 14-year-old boy. Agents found and seized evidence of the production, transportation, receipt, and possession of child pornography. Marceau and Ford admitted to sexually abusing both children and taking photographs of the abuse. In addition, the investigation revealed that Marceau actively encouraged at least three other men to sexually abuse children and send him photographs of the abuse.

"This case is a graphic reminder of the important responsibility Homeland Security Investigations has in seeking out and bringing to justice those who commit heinous and despicable acts of pedophilia," said Leigh Winchell, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in the Pacific Northwest. "HSI will continue to target those who sexually exploit our children, robbing them of their youth and innocence."

At the sentencing hearing, Marceau read a written statement in which he apologized for the harm he caused the victims, his family and his friends. Marceau told Judge Haggerty that he was "disappointed and ashamed" by what he did. Marceau asked the court to recommend that he be considered for sex offender treatment while incarcerated, saying that he was eager to start "working toward rehabilitation." Judge Haggerty expressed hope that the lengthy sentence in this case would act as a deterrent to Marceau and others who sexually abuse children.

Marceau is scheduled to be sentenced in Washington County on July 13. Lisa Ford, who previously pleaded guilty to both federal and state charges, is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court July 12 and in Washington County on July 13.

In addition to ICE HSI, other agencies participating in this investigation include the Department of Interior's Office of Inspector General and the Washington County Sheriff's Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gary Sussman and Stacie Beckerman.

This investigation is part of ICE's Operation Predator, a nationwide initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who sexually exploit children, and the Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood, which marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet.

As part of Operation Predator, ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423. 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.