Michael Shaw tells judge ‘children need to be protected from predators like myself’

Last updated: February 07. 2014 10:10AM - 3890 Views
By - elewis@civitasmedia.com



Michael Shaw is escorted into district court in June.
Michael Shaw is escorted into district court in June.
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SCRANTON — Michael Shaw of Luzerne called himself a child predator and a federal prosecutor agreed Thursday at Shaw’s sentencing hearing on child pornography charges.


“I am sick. I need help,” Shaw said during the proceeding. “Children should not be exploited. They should be protected from predators like myself.”


U.S. District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion then sentenced Michael Shaw, 39, formerly of Bennett Street, to 15 years in federal prison.


U.S. Assistant Attorney Francis Sempa sought a prison sentence of 17.6 to 20 years while Shaw’s attorney, Leo A. Latella, sought a 14-year prison term.


Sempa said if it wasn’t for a cyber tip about Shaw’s explicit chat with a boy, “his conduct would have continued. He got caught in the midst of his criminal activity.”


Shaw was arrested in June by Luzerne police and Luzerne County detectives based on a tip he had a sexually explicit chat with a young boy. From there, authorities said they learned about Shaw kissing an 11-year-old boy and finding a “large volume” of images of child porn on his computer and discs.


Shaw also tried to persuade multiple young boys to engage in “webcam sex” acts, Sempa said. He said more than 10,000 images of child pornography were found on Shaw’s computer.


A federal grand jury indicted Shaw in September, which led to the dismissal of child pornography charges in county court.


Shaw, in a pre-sentencing letter to Mannion, offered to provide his services to authorities to catch other child predators when he is released from prison.


Shaw must attend sexual offender treatment programs while in prison. After he is released, he must register his address, employment and vehicle with authorities for the remainder of his life, and not reside within 1,000 feet of places where children congregate, including schools, playgrounds and athletic fields.

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