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Friday, May 11, 2012

Federal Judge Lowers the Boom In Alabama Case That Involves Child Pornography and Sexual Abuse

Michael Wayne Wooten

A 61-year-old Alabama man received a 30-year prison sentence this week after pleading guilty to child pornography charges. The case reportedly also involved instances of child sexual abuse

Michael Wayne Wooten, of Alabaster, is a former Birmingham police officer and substitute bus driver in Shelby County. Wooten pleaded guilty in January to one count of production of child pornography after authorities said he took explicit photos of students in an abandoned school building.

Guilty pleas often can lead to relatively mild sentences in criminal cases. But U.S. District Judge Inge Johnson had other ideas in this case. Wooten faced a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years--and Johnson went for the max.

Alabaster is the largest city in Shelby County, which is one of the fastest growing counties in the country and long has been known as Alabama's most conservative and supposedly "pro family" jurisdiction. But this marks the second time in recent weeks that an Alabaster resident has been sentenced on charges related to child sexual abuse. Daniel M. Acker Jr., a retired Shelby County school teacher, received a 17-year sentence on May 3 after pleading guilty to state charges that he sexually abused multiple girls.

Why was the Wooten case in federal court and the Acker case in state court? And why the difference in the sentences, given that the Acker case seems to have involved more victims, over a longer period of time?

The answer to the first question seems to lie with the nature of the charges against Wooten. After a victim told her parents about potentially inappropriate conduct, a search of Wooten's residence yielded multiple computers with images of child pornography. Because a computer was involved, that means Wooten used the U.S. wires in furtherance of his crimes, so that almost certainly is the main reason he wound up before a federal judge.

What about the maximum sentence for Wooten, even though he pleaded guilty? For one, he did not just gather and transmit pornographic images; he produced them. For another, he did more than record his victims in inappropriate situations; he engaged in abusive touching, much as Acker did. From the print version of the story in The Birmingham News:

Investigators identified 11 victims, ages 4 to 9, that he had exploited over a period of four years, according to prosecutors. Wooten gained access to some of his victims through friendships with their parents or grandparents. Wooten admitted to direct sexual abuse of two victims, according to a court document.

The Wooten case raises sad questions about what drives some adults to such behavior. Wooten himself seems perplexed by that issue. Again, from The Birmingham News:

Wooten admitted in court Wednesday that he had committed "horrible, horrible" things. "I felt like the lowest scumbag on the earth," he told the judge "No rational man my age is going to be sexually attracted to a child," Wooten said. "I deserve what you are going to give me."

I'm guessing that one other factor might have contributed to the harsh sentence for Wooten. You might call it the "Jerry Sandusky Effect." Since the former Penn State assistant football coach was arrested last November on child sexual abuse charges, the issue has become seared in the nation's collective conscience. The Sandusky case quickly was followed by allegations against former Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine. And there have been other lower-profile cases, including the nauseating tale of a father in Troy, Ohio, (Kenneth Brandt) raping his three adopted sons and using one of them as a  prostitute for two other men.

The Sandusky, Fine, and Brandt cases could all wind up involving federal charges. Sandusky reportedly molested one victim while on a trip to the Outback Bowl in Tampa. That would involve crossing state lines to commit a crime and might invoke federal jurisdiction. The FBI reportedly might pursue federal child sexual exploitation charges in the Brandt case. And agents from the U.S. Secret Service helped search the home of Bernie Fine. Reports slate.com:

What does the Secret Service have to do with a child molestation case? 
It’s part of their portfolio. In 1994, Congress created a task force to help state and local law enforcement officials investigate cases of missing and sexually exploited children, and included two representatives of the Secret Service on the committee. Nine years later, the Amber Alert law officially added child abduction and molestation to the list of crimes the agency is authorized to investigate.

If the Michael Wayne Wooten case in Alabama is an indicator, federal jurisdiction can be bad news for someone charged with sexual crimes involving children. Our guess is that, in the current environment, Judge Johnson did not want to be seen as being remotely lenient in a case involving child sexual abuse--and so Wooten received what amounts to a life sentence.

What message does that send to anyone who might have sexually abused children by using the federal mails or wires, traveling across state lines, or engaging in criminal acts in multiple states? I would say the message is this: You picked a real bad time to be a child molester.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the U.S. is going to FINALLY? address the traffic and trade, et Cetera, of our children.

Why do people become criminally insane? It is criminally insane to prey upon children, is it not, when the predator is clearly powerful enough to easily and effortlessly kill the innocent victim!

Grand Ayatollahs in ancient times made the people of Islam who were insane enough to prey upon babies, for example, in rape - they had to care for the infant for the whole lifetime since the experience of being raped caused serious damage to the human psyche.

We have only begun a first step in America here, discovering that in ancient times there were also sentences of life to care for the victims and therefore, atone for the sin of predatory criminal insanity.

TRANSPARENCY. The key. In the U.S. we do NOT have transparency and that causes the nation to be the innocent victim to the ancient criminally insane that own and run the "money."

News and media are the gulag.

"Manumission" was when the slaves, the people who were nothing but commodities to the "rich," got to be free. That was what disrupted the Roman Empire's criminally insane lineages, up the road and we have the Hapsburg's GOLDEN ARMY policing the world (sound familiar here?!): NATO.

Time for change alright, stop the military industrial complex from making criminally insane "warriors" within the gates and without. Cicero said it best about the traitors and face the fact that, preying upon children is a very criminally insane act.

What future do we have in America with the predatory criminally insane in charge of the countless numbers of damaged, when the life sentences are in the prisons and therefore, where is the reform?

Perhaps the care for victims the whole life can support the idea of responsibility of our actions? But, then, the programming must be exposed entirely for the obvious making of commodities to make certain the sickest of the richest have what society gets with the crumbling of empires.

Almost always the same in history, as the crumbling of a super power incurs, so do the most insane appear due to no longer being able to hide the truth of why a super power empire on a finite planet.

Roberta

jeffrey spruill said...

"I deserve what you are going to give me."

Careful what you wish for----- especially since you're en route to the Federal Penitentiary.

Anonymous said...

In January, 2008, I was one of the 150+ folks that appeared in Judge Sonny Ferguson's courtroom in hopes that he would reconsider a decision that he had made for a little girl. Our presence had no impact, whatsoever, on the judge's initial decision to allow the toddler to be with the maternal grandmother (and her 8th or 9th husband). The grandmother, Ann Vaughan, was a child molester. She (and other boyfriends/husbands) sexually molested and violently abused her children. She lost custody of her OWN children.

The mother of the child was/is an admitted stripper, prostitute, drug addict and alcoholic. You asked in your blog a while back, "Who is Theresea Kilgore?" That was Libby Kerley's best friend...and they had the same "occupation". So dramatic, but it was true! And the judge gave custody to that?!

So, what's happened with the little girl? She is still in danger, despite the attempts of truly concerned friends of the father's family. It is an absolute travesty.

Thank you for all of your attempts in exposing the crooks. I wish others would pay attention. Unfortunately, we don't seem to notice until it happens to us or to someone close to us.

Anonymous said...

That is the most important point made of all:

"Unfortunately, we don't seem to notice until it happens to us or to someone close to us."

Ah, media-news fails us?

There appears a connectedness to the judges who also don't have a clue about ? Why would judges be so pro-child non-safety in the U.S. when the transparency is the best, except the mainstream news media is not up to par?!

Retirement portfolios, the Public Employees Retirement System [PERS] was and is managed by GOLDMAN SACHS [aka "Government Sachs"] and therefore, the recycling center for the judges in essence, there are foreclosed on homes and of course there are prison system huge retirement payouts, and then what about the FOSTER HOME programs for children?

OH Yes, they pay the foster home approximately $100,000.00 to keep the child and why not the home where the child has been removed - pay that family for healing to bring bonding back to the most important first contract in human being. BUT NO, there appears a disconnect in the media-news and our system of checks and balances or maybe the connection is for a very ViilEvil intention. /rk

riseabove said...

It saddens my heart that these alledged advocates for children continue on a quest to destroy their own. This is a closed, sealed case in Jefferson County Court. I am an established professional who is obtaining master level education. I love my girls, Jesus, my church, and my friends. My mother is deceased...enough said there. I have read stuff on here for years and never felt compelled to defend myself. My daughter is getting older. This demonic attack is killing her emotionally and spiritually. In my opinion, this is spiritual warfare at its best. I stlll pray.for peace.
I don't have the time (and it would be futile) to try to thwart ugly, demeaning comments. Nor would it be wise to poke the dog with a stick. My concern is for my daughter. This is a closed, sealed case and would be happy to give you a copy. Be blessed and happy writing.

riseabove said...
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riseabove said...
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legalschnauzer said...

Rise:

If you are willing to provide a copy of the case file, I would be happy to take a look at it. I assume this involves the case referenced by Anonymous on May 12, not the Wooten case referenced in the post?

riseabove said...

I have no reason to hide that I am Libby Kerley. I am proud of the domestic abuse and trials I have overcome to manifest into the loving woman I am today. I do not want to bash anyone because it is futile. I will say that if I was REALLY that unstable Mr. Kerley and his followers would fear their perpetual actions to destroy me would make me snap. Quite the contrary actually. I am in graduate school and doing quite well and am a well-balanced person with lots of good friends.
I will say that like all of us I have made some mistakes, and having a domestic abuser in my life, only leaves me to be set up for protracted abuse through the court system. All I continue to pray for is Marc and that he finds Jesus. I have never slept with a judge nor even a lawyer. If I had, I would hope I was good enough to end this. Sorry, I have to find some humor.
I am not angry at you of course; you know me not. I will say this is a closed sealed case in Jefferson County courthouse. I was in treatment for staying in an abusive relationship. I am accountable; nonetheless, that was years ago. I have more than paid the price. Mr. Kerley has been in the ole slammer for psychiatric issues and an overdose himself. I want peace. I want my daughter to have a normal life. This is not normal. Not every judge, DHR, lawyer, police officer, daily master etc. is wrong. The common denominator is Marc. I certainly would not have time to sleep with all of these people with the responsibilities of living in court, school, child rearing, and social and civil volunteer activites.
I respect the freedom of speech. i am proud to be an American. I have no requests, but that I would ponder and be circumspect in what I post when it comes to moters of small children. My child is getting older and it is starting to have a negative impact on her. I pray this cycle of abuse and mission destroy stops. Life is short; we all deserve some happiness on this earth.
Libby Kerley

riseabove said...

It is a sealed case. Legal Schnauzer...getting angry at you would show no restraint on my part. Through all of this, I have had to learn to be the real one and rise above. I would go on the Dr. Phil show at this point in my life. I have nothing to hide. I did some things in my 20's that I am not proud of. I am 44...I can assure you no one wants to pay to see my aging body...Just saying...

Anonymous said...

So Libby, many of us would like to know..how can you be traveling out of the country right now? Aren't you on welfare?

Anonymous said...

Libby Kerley has been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and has an inflated view of herself. Having been molested by her mother and so many male visitors, she doesn't know what is right or wrong...or does she?

The daughter of Marc Kerley was traumatized by the circus media created by the irresponsible behavior of this pathetic person. She is an alcoholic, admitted to drinking and driving in public, tried to kill herself in the presence of her children. Like Mother, Like Daughter. Her mother held her at gunpoint, too.

Don't feel too sorry for the trash. It's those with BPD (mostly women) that have killed their children:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001931/

This woman fled the country and left a little girl with "friends". As you know, her friends engage in the same behaviors.

riseabove said...

I was chosen as an international scholar to study abroad and received several monetary scholarships. And for the record I have never been diagnosed with BPD. I am over you. The truth will prevail. I will continue to pray for you.

Integrityprevails said...

Elizabeth, my concerns with your testimony arise many concerns. Yes, you may have survived the abuse bestowed upon you, but in what did you partake to substain this obstacle? One who has adapted to these unfortunate situations has the potential to inherit traits of the abusing in order to escape the tragedy of emotional welfare. These traits may be implemented in a positive light to assist victims of the situational horrors, or perhaps, one may take advantage of the learned coping mechanisms combined with the medical knowledge that they are exposed to. The concerning factor that has caught my attention is the lengths in which the victimized person will ensue to achieve a certain status quo. Compromising the integrity and character of your own flesh and blood by manipulation and psychological chaos portrays the lack of morality you entail despite your past. Your own children attempted to escape your wrath and begged for salvation to those whom eventually were the greatest victims of all in this twisted catastrophe. You may have currently found a route to escape your demise, but you're not fooling anyone but fools themselves. On the day you come face to face with your creator, you will have to answer to the Almighty and beg for mercy far greater than your children pleaded. You think you're of importance due to your Psychiatric Practicioner status? I feel for your patients but only a fraction compared to the feelings of sympathy I have for your offspring. And your most recent husband? Suddenly dead with a substantial life insurance policy? Any fellow medical professional is WELL aware on how to sustain life but not ignorant to ways of how life is abruptly ceased. May God have mercy on your soul. You'll need every ounce of forgiveness on your judgement day.