GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Mason County man who drugged a child to facilitate numerous sexual assaults over the span of five years was sentenced this week to 30 years in federal prison.
Michael James Walworth drugged the girl and sexually assaulted her, beginning when she was about 8 years old, court records show. The assaults took place at his home in Scottville and were recorded. Investigators say the abuse began in early 2016 and continued through October of 2021.
In addition to prison, Walworth, 50, was ordered to pay $51,000 in restitution. U.S. District Court Judge Jane M. Beckering also placed Walworth on supervised release for 10 years once he gets out of prison.
He pleaded guilty in March to conspiracy to sexually exploit a child. In exchange for his plea, seven other charges were dismissed.
A co-defendant, Amy Lucille Shanty, awaits sentencing in August. The pair were indicted earlier this year.
Federal investigators say the defendants used multiple electronic devices to videotape and photograph the sexual assaults. Walworth and Shanty provided the girl sleeping drugs so she would not be conscious during the assaults, according to a plea agreement.
The pair also provided the girl items such as candy “to get her to agree to allow them to sexually exploit her,’’ court records show.
Walworth was initially charged in state court in October. The state case was dropped after federal charges were filed.