Internet Sex Predator Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison

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Michael-downsSANTA CLARITA, Calif. (KTLA) — A 20-year-old man who trolled for teen girls on Internet social media sites and hung out with younger boys so he could meet younger girls was sentenced to 15 years and four months in state prison today after pleading no contest to molesting 15 girls.

Michael Downs pleaded to 14 felony counts including lewd conduct with a child, unlawful sex with a minor and one count of sexual penetration by a foreign object of a minor.

Downs was charged in December 2011 and has been in custody since then in connection with the case.

As part of his sentence, he must register for life as a sex offender.

Authorities said Downs was between the ages of 18 and 19 when the crimes occurred.

They said he lied about his age, pretending to be 15 or 16.

He would meet the victims through social media, at malls and house parties. He also befriended younger teen boys to meet girls in their age group.

Sheriff’s detectives began investigating Downs in December, when a girl reported she was sexually assaulted by Downs earlier in the year, according to a sheriff’s news release.

The investigation led detectives to 13 other girls between the ages of 12 and 16, who said Downs had assaulted them as well, according to the news release.

Additional victims came forward in the days after Downs’ arrest, and authorities said they expected even more to surface.

The alleged sexual assaults took place at “various locations throughout the Santa Clarita Valley,” according to the news release.

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  • KamilPerevin

    I just got paid $6784 working off my laptop this month. And if you think that's cool, my divorced friend has twin toddlers and made over $9k her first month. It feels so good making so much money when other people have to work for so much less. This is what I do, Rich45.ℂOM

    • stupir

      You are right Benji; he should have been sentenced to life in prison and be chemically castrated to ensure he never hurts another child again.

  • al

    What happened with the female teacher that slept with two high school boys? How come she didn’t have to register for life as a sex offender? Oh wait, I forgot women are treated better in the court system…

    • Bob J

      Supposedly, he used a public defender and not a private attorney. I'm not saying public defenders are bad lawyers, but many have very high workloads and aren't able to spend much time on each case. That said, had this dude used a quality private attorney instead (who could spend 50-75 hours working the case), there's a good chance he'd be looking at 5 years instead of 15.

  • Ash

    He molested 15 girls, that everyone knows about, and there are probably more children out there that he preyed upon. I believe that 15 years is a slap on the wrist for a disgusting and disgraceful act upon our youth. Those girls will get justice while serving out his time. Inmates don't play too kind with convicted child molesters, especially when he was a serial sex offender. Just remember, we can't always win all of these types of cases. And when our justice system seems unjust, there's a whole different justice system inside of the prison that he's going to.

    • Johnnie

      Nah, this isn't really that good of a plea offer for the defendant (at least I don't think so) for the simple fact that he was only 18-19 when all this went down. If he were much older (like 35 years old), this would be a great result because he'd only be getting 15 years for messing around with underage females 20+ years younger than him, but considering he was like 3-6 years older than the girls, it's a pretty harsh sentence. Basically, given the context of everything, 15 years is a lot of time.

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