Sep 26, 2023  |  
 | Remer,MN
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NextImg:Chicago man gets 22 years for recording, abusing boys in YMCAs

A Chicago man was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison Friday for secretly recording boys changing in three Chicago-area YMCA locker rooms, along with possessing nearly 100,000 pictures and videos depicting child pornography.

Michael Porter, 58, pleaded guilty last year to charges of production, receipt and possession of child pornography after he spent about 20 years recording young boys with a camera he hid in a bag and “strategically” placed in the changing and shower areas.

Porter also was charged for abusing one boy he had recorded, including videos of the abuse taking place in 2008. He had also recorded video of him directing two minors to remove their bathing suits in a locker room, according to sentencing documents.

While investigating, law enforcement officials seized six recording devices, seven cameras, 30 USB drives, two laptops and hundreds of cassette tapes and DVDs, with some containing material he had recorded. 

Porter had possessed more than 46,500 images and 44,500 videos of child pornography — including some prosecutors described as portraying “sadistic” and “masochistic” acts — and 2,245 of which he’d made himself. He also had purchased several of the videos online through different social media apps, according to sentencing documents. 

Law enforcement had previously found four hard drives and a cellphone containing child pornography, some of which included children less than 12 years old, when he was arrested in the summer of 2021.

In addition to the 22-year sentence — shy of the 30-year maximum sentence and 10 years of supervision sought by prosecutors — a judge ordered Porter to pay $63,500 in restitution to his victims, which they said would help pay for some of the victims to attend schools for victims of abuse.

The 10 victims from the case, some of whom were depicted in videos Porter purchased while others were from videos he made, are set to receive between $5,000 and $10,000 each.

“Michael Porter was a prolific manufacturer and collector of child pornography,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kristen Totten and Elly M. Peirson wrote in sentencing documents. “Regardless of whether these images will ever surface again, the victims will live with the trauma imposed upon them by the defendant for the rest of their lives.”

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