PORTLAND - An Aloha man received a hefty sentence in federal court Tuesday morning after pleading guilty to 27 child pornography offenses.
Senior U.S. District Judge Ancer L. Haggerty sentenced Michael J. Marceau, 43, to a total of 49 years in federal prison, followed by a life term of supervised release, after 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 in the production of child pornography, and one count each of transporting, receiving and possessing child pornography.
During his term of 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. Marceau will be required to participate in sex offender treatment and register as a sex offender.
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.
U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton praised the sentence as 'eminently just, given the horrific acts Mr. Marceau committed' against his two stepchildren.
'They were so incredibly vulnerable, and they were abused by the two people whose primary job was to protect and nurture them,' he added. 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,' Holton said.
He 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 emails about the sexual abuse of children with another person, who turned out to be an employee of the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs. The federal employee misused his government computer to access his personal email 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 their Office of Inspector General, who, in turn, sought assistance from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The employee no longer works at the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
HSI agents served a federal search warrant at the Aloha residence Marceau shared with his wife and co-defendant, Lisa Ford, and Ford's two children, a 6-year-old daughter and a severely disabled 14-year-old son.
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 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 Haggerty that he was 'disappointed and ashamed' by what he did. He also 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.' He asked the court to impose a sentence of 30 years in prison.
Haggerty imposed a 49-year sentence instead, saying he hoped that such a sentence would act as a deterrent both to Marceau and to others who would sexually abuse children, and would preclude Marceau from committing additional crimes against children in the future.
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 on July 12, and in Washington County on July 13.
This case was investigated by the Department of Interior's Office of Inspector General, by Homeland Security Investigations and by the Washington County Sheriff's Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gary Sussman and Stacie Beckerman.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice and led by United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov .