A Sacramento man was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday, January 23, after being convicted for buying Filipino children for pornography and sex — federal prosecutors described the case as “lurid, willful, and disturbing.”
Prosecutors said Michael Carey Clemans, 57, was found guilty in September of attempted travel and travel with intent to engage in sexual conduct, buying children, and conspiracy to travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct.
“His true plan was to find girls, virgins, and then go have sex with them,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Andre Espinosa on Tuesday as reported by the Associated Press.
“A 57-year-old man doesn’t have sex with a seven year old girl — he rapes her,” Espinosa added.
Clemans’ defense attorney Daniel Olmos argued for reconsideration of Clemans’ sentence for helping authorities capture co-conspirators, but U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez Mendez described Clemans as a “danger particularly to children” and said Clemans’ crimes were greater than his assistance.
“He has taken away the childhood of those victims,” said Mendez.
“Clemans committed unspeakable acts in pursuit of his sexual obsessions with children,” said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California McGregor Scott on Tuesday. “He is a sophisticated offender who leveraged technology and the economic disadvantages of the Filipino children he targeted to commit his crimes.”
According to court documents, Clemans began conspiring with a woman in the Philippines starting June 2014, to produce child pornography. At the time, Clemans was residing in Bangkok, Thailand where he worked as an airline pilot.
In April 2015, Clemans returned to Sacramento but continued chatting with the Filipina woman online where Clemans discussed ways to get and rape minor girls, including orphans and typhoon victims.
“Clemans instructed the Filipino woman on how to find vulnerable victims, directing her to look for orphans and victims of typhoons,” said court documents.
His Filipina co-conspirators Lyan Tandeg and Shellina Atad, were arrested and charged in November of 2015 for trafficking and child pornography.
Tandeg was paid nearly $6,000 to buy photography equipment and conduct sexually explicit photoshoots of the young victims. Victims were as young as seven years old.
“He gave her [Tandeg] explicit instructions on how to photograph their naked bodies so he could determine which ones would come to the Philippines to rape,” read documents. Clemans also indicated in the chats that he was “particularly interested in very young virgins.”
Over 27,000 child pornography photos were found on Clemans computer.
According to the Associated Press, investigators were able to find three of the photographed children who were aged 7, 9, and 10. Prosecutors brought them to Sacramento to testify at Clemans’ trial. (Rae Ann Varona/AJPress)