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Rainier man accused of sex abuse to appear in federal court

by: Courtesy photo Michael McCann

A Rainier man charged locally with 51 counts of sexual abuse against family members will have his day in court starting July 26. It won't be in the county, however.

The trial for Michael Edward McCann will begin July 26 in U.S. District Court in Portland. The U.S. Attorney's Office has taken the lead in the case since 2010. At the federal level, McCann is charged with 16 counts of filming the sexual acts of minors and one count of possessing child pornography.

Federal interest in McCann stems from his alleged possession of child pornography.

Though prosecutors remain mum on whether McCann transmitted the material, filming and then digitally storing images of minors in sexual positions are violations of interstate commerce, due to the images being stored on devices transported across state lines.

The case against McCann began in 2009, when he was arrested and indicted on 51 counts of sexual abuse, sodomy and incest by a Columbia County grand jury. He was indicted on the 17 federal counts on July 19, 2010.

After his federal trial concludes, McCann could find himself in the county's circuit court, if the District Attorney's Office decides to pursue the case. That will depend on the outcome of the federal trial, said Deputy District Attorney John Berg.

'If he gets 100 years, there's no point in bringing him back to the county,' Berg said.