NEW BALTIMORE, Mich. (WWJ) – A 33-year-old New Baltimore man, who prosecutors say used a phony Facebook profile, has been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for producing child porn.
According to U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, Gregory Austin — pretending to be a young woman — used the name “Julie” to entice numerous young boys to send him nude photos of themselves.
“Parents and teens should be aware that predators use social media to manipulate victims,” McQuade said in a statement.
The scheme was uncovered when police confiscated Austin’s cellphone when he was arrested for buying Vicodin in an elementary school parking lot in Roseville last year.
In total, 133 images, depicting mostly young boys in various states of dress and undress, were found on Austin’s phone and computer.
This case was brought as part of the U.S. Attorney’s “Project Safe Childhood,” a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation through the Internet.
In making his sentencing decision, U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Tarnow cited that Austin had committed a serious crime that required a severe punishment.
In addition to the prison time, Austin was ordered to be placed on five years of supervised release.