GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA – Michael Lee Finn, Jr., 35, of Hawthorne, Fla., was sentenced to fifteen years in federal prison after pleading guilty on June 14, 2022 to producing child pornography. Jason R. Coody, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, announced the convict.
“This sentencing is another example of the unwavering commitment to protecting our most vulnerable and should have a significant deterrent effect on those who would attempt to harm them,” U.S. Attorney Coody said. “We will continue to work tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to vigorously investigate and prosecute those who prey on our children.”
Court documents indicate that on October 17, 2021, law enforcement officers were dispatched for a domestic disturbance at a residence in Gainesville, Florida. Upon arrival, officers spoke with the complainant, who informed her that she had a long relationship with Michael Lee Finn, Jr. The complainant borrowed Finn’s cell phone and, while reviewing the images stored on the phone, observed numerous pornographic images of adults. She also located videos that appeared to show an underage child victim lying partially naked on a sofa as well as naked in the shower. It does not appear that the child victim realized that she was being videotaped. The Complainant confronted Finn about the videos and an argument began during which Finn left the residence. Officers scoured the area and located Finn, then informed him of his rights in Miranda. Finn admitted to taking the photos and videos of the child victim without his knowledge. He further stated that the photos “may have been for personal gratification”. Finn was arrested on state charges for possession of child pornography. A state search warrant was obtained for the contents of the cell phone. In the “hidden” folder were several videos of the child victim which focus on his naked body and genitalia. Further investigation determined that the child victim was unaware that the images had been created.
“Parents must remain ever vigilant, even within the confines of their own home, as predators use technology to covertly exploit and victimize children,” said K. Jim Phillips, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of HSI Jacksonville. “We are in the throes of a societal epidemic of child sexual exploitation. Thanks to partners like the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, we were able to put a stop to this deviant’s behavior.
Finn’s prison sentence will be followed by a lifetime supervised release. He will have to register as a sex offender and will be subject to the conditions applicable to sex offenders.
This conviction is the result of a collaborative investigation by Homeland Security Investigations and the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Frank Williams prosecuted the case.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s leading litigants under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information on the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.