Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Printer Friendly

Grand Jury Indicts Former Wichita Falls Businessman Investigated by Attorney General's Cyber Crimes Unit

WICHITA FALLS – An Archer County grand jury indicted Michael McDonough, 59, of Wichita Falls, Monday for collecting and distributing sexually explicit images of children.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s Cyber Crimes Unit presented the former businessman’s case to the grand jury, which indicted him on 10 counts of child pornography possession and two counts of promotion.

“Texans will not tolerate criminals who prey upon our children,” Attorney General Abbott said. “The Cyber Crimes Unit will continue to protect young Texans by aggressively cracking down on sex predators and child pornographers.”

Cyber Crimes Unit investigators conducted a search of McDonough’s place of business after receiving a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that he was distributing child pornography over the Internet. Forensic analysis of confiscated computers and external media revealed images of children being sexually assaulted. At the time of the Attorney General’s investigation, McDonough was employed as a president with an energy company.

Attorney General Abbott has earned a national reputation for aggressively arresting and prosecuting online child predators. In 2003, he launched the Cyber Crimes Unit, which targets online predators by assuming the identities of young teenagers in Internet chat rooms, and the Fugitive Unit, which locates convicted child sex offenders who have violated the terms of their parole and could be stalking children. Attorney General Abbott’s initiative has resulted in more than 600 arrests of such offenders. His office also has obtained convictions against more than 60 men on child pornography charges.

Possession of child pornography is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Promotion is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

For more information, contact the Office of the Attorney General at (800) 252-8011 or visit the Attorney General’s Web site at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.