GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Jenison man will spend three decades in prison and have to pay thousands of dollars in fines for creating and sharing child pornography, federal prosecutors say.
Michael John Batt, 36, was sentenced to 30 years in prison and 10 years supervised release, which was the maximum possible sentence for creating and distributing pornographic images of a child under five years old.
He will also have to pay $19,000 in restitution to victims featured in his “child pornography stockpile,” and $15,000 in special assessments, according to prosecutors.
Batt used a cell phone to create pornography of a child under three that he abused. The next day, he then sent five of the images to an undercover police officer over a messaging platform on the internet, federal attorneys say. Michigan State Police found and confiscated the evidence after a search of his home.
Before his sentencing, Batt admitted that his actions were “egregious” and the victims would “never fully heal,” U.S. attorneys said in a release.
At the time of the allegations, Batt was working at Wayland Union Schools but is no longer employed there. It is unknown what his role was at the district. Wayland Union Schools said his actions happened off school property and that it does not have information that shows Batt’s actions involved the district staff or students.
MSP Computer Crimes Unit advises parents to have a conversation with their children about safe internet use. You can find a list of resources on the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children website or the MSP ICAC Task Force website.
If you have information about possible child sexual exploitation, report it to the CyberTipLine.