A 57-year-old man in Sacramento, California was sentenced to life in prison on Jan. 23 after buying Filipino children for sex and production of pornographic materials.
Michael Carey Clemans, an army veteran with zero criminal record, lived in Bangkok for two years while working as a pilot before returning to Sacramento to live with his mother.
From there, he traveled several times to the Philippines.
“His true plan was to find young girls, virgins, and then go have sex with them. A 57-year-old man doesn’t have sex with a 7-year-old girl — he rapes her,” the Associated Press quoted Assistant U.S. Attorney Andre Espinosa as saying.
Clemans started conspiring with a Filipino woman named Lyan Tandeg in 2014, sending her $6,000 to buy equipment that she used to photograph naked children — orphans, typhoon victims and other vulnerable kids.
According to FOX 40, some of his messages read:
“I want to be able to get my photos and arrange sex with the underage girls. I do not want you or me to get into trouble so we have to be very very careful.
“That is the reason I mentioned orphanages or runaways or abandoned girls from the typhoons. I am looking for girls that are homeless that will not argue and will have no obligation but to have sex.”
Tandeg then sent back the photos and Clemans decided which girls he would rape when he traveled.
He also paid another co-conspirator, Shellina Atad, whom he asked to obtain temporary custody of children and produce child porn.
Tandeg and Atad were arrested in 2015, and are serving a 15-year sentence in the Philippines.
There was also a point when Clemans communicated with over 50 child porn providers, collecting more than 27,000 illicit images.
He was found guilty of buying children, conspiring and traveling with intent to engage in illegal sexual conduct in September 2017. He also pleaded guilty to conspiring, producing and receiving child pornography previously.
U.S. District Judge John Mendez said that Clemans had “another side to his life,” and that he was sickened by his crimes.
“Mr. Clemans is a dangerous man. A danger particularly to children.”
The life sentence on Tuesday came after Clemans’ attorney, Daniel Olmos, argued that his cooperation in helping authorities catch his co-conspirators should be considered. However, Mendez said his “unthinkable, inexcusable” crimes cannot be outweighed.
Clemans joins 39 other people facing sentences ranging from 15 years to life for crimes committed against children, and prosecuted by the Eastern District of the California United States’ Attorney’s Office in the last four years, the Sacramento Bee noted.
But Clemans plans to appeal his sentence in what authorities are calling one of the most “lurid, willful, and disturbing” child exploitation cases in America.
Photos: Screenshots via KRON 4