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Date: 05-14-2024

Case Style:

United States of America v. Michael Tienping Tang

Case Number: 7:17-CR-1215

Judge: Randy Crane

Court: The United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas (Hidalgo County)

Plaintiff's Attorney: The United States Attorney’s Office in McAllen

Defendant's Attorney: Charles August Banker, III

Description:

McAllen, Texas criminal defense lawyer Charles August Banker, III represented the Defendant charged with sexually exploiting minors using Facebook.


Sex offender sentenced to 50 years in prison for sexually exploiting minors using Facebook



has been sentenced for the sexual exploitation of children in the McAllen area, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Michael Tienping Tang, a 35-year-old Virginia resident was sentenced to serve 600 months in federal prison for the sexual exploitation of children in the McAllen, Texas area on Facebook. At a hearing, the court heard additional evidence including how victims of these schemes frequently feel deep fear and shame and often delay in reporting the conduct. In this case, however, Judge Crane heard how two minor victims ultimately came forward and exposed Tang’s crimes.

The court handed down the prison term, noting Tang’s prior sex convictions and the fact that Tang committed this current scheme while under supervision for those prior cases. In addition, the court noted Tang’s use of social media to stalk his victims, their friends and family, as well as Tang’s use of multiple accounts to coerce over 50 victims into engaging in sexually explicit acts at his request. Tang will serve the rest of his life on supervised release following completion of his prison term. During that time, he will be required to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the internet. Tang will also be ordered to register as a sex offender.

“Tang, a child predator, weaponized Facebook to serve his sick and depraved desires,” said Hamdani. “He used the common social media app to target, exploit and extort our most precious and vulnerable asset, our children. Today’s sentence shrinks Tang’s social circle shaped by the vastness of an online world to the restrictive confines of a federal penitentiary.”

“The abuse and exploitation of children is deeply cruel and violates the trust and safety of the victims. It generates trauma that may not heal. We hope today’s sentence provides some measure of justice to those he harmed,” said Special Agent in Charge Craig S. Larrabee, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) San Antonio. “Fortunately, he will spend the next 50 years in prison where he cannot harm another child. We will seek the same lengthy sentence for anyone who seeks to take advantage of children in our communities.”

The investigation revealed Tang utilized Facebook to coerce and entice minor children to produce child pornography. Tang’s requests frequently included bestiality and would demand minor victims with younger siblings to produce images and videos engaging in sexually explicit conduct with their younger siblings.

The investigation began in May 2017 when authorities learned about the possible online sexual exploitation of two minor victim students within a local school district. Law enforcement discovered Tang coerced them into producing and sending images and videos depicting themselves engaging in sexually explicit conduct to his Facebook profile. When the victims blocked Tang on Facebook, he created new accounts, communicated and interacted with the victim’s Facebook friends and contacts and regained access to them. After regaining access, Tang coerced both victims to engage in a list of sexual activities by threatening to disseminate their images and videos.

A federal search warrant of Tang’s Facebook account revealed over 50 potential minor victims who had sent and/or received child pornography.

Authorities identified a third minor victim who Tang coerced to produce and send images and videos depicting themselves engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Tang further coerced this minor victim to produce a video using a younger fourth victim’s hand for sexually explicit conduct. When the minor victim did not meet Tang’s deadline to produce an additional video engaging in oral sex with the younger minor victim, Tang distributed the minor victim’s video.

Tang was previously convicted in 2012 of two separate child exploitation offenses including attempted indecent liberties with a child and two counts of possession of child pornography in Virginia.

Tang will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

HSI Rio Grande Valley Child Exploitation Investigations Task Force conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys James Sturgis and Alexa D. Parcell prosecuted the case, which was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative the Department of Justice (DOJ) launched in May 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. U.S. Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section leads PSC, which marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children and identifies and rescues victims. For more information about PSC, please visit DOJ’s PSC page. For more information about internet safety education, please visit the resources tab on that page.

Outcome:

Defendant was found guilty and sentenced to 600 months in federal prison

Plaintiff's Experts:

Defendant's Experts:

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