A man from Sacramento, California has been sentenced to life in federal prison for buying Filipino children for sex and pornography. Michael Carey Clemans, 57, was handed down the sentence on Tuesday. According to the Associated Press, Clemans is an Army veteran who lived in Bangkok for two years while working as a pilot for a small airline.
Prosecutors detailed how Clemans returned multiple times to the Philippines with malicious intentions. According to authorities, he would ask a woman in the Philippines to take sexually explicit photographs of the children so that he could decide which child he wanted to rape when he came to the country.
Prosecutors claim that Clemans raped at least three girls, according to ABC13. The woman he conspired with from the Philippines, Lyan Tandeg, and another co-conspirator, Shellina Atad, were arrested for producing child pornography to show Clemans images of potential victims, some as young as 7. They were reportedly sentenced to 15-year prison terms in the Philippines.
“His true plan was to find young girls, virgins, and then go have sex with them,” Assistant US Attorney Andre Espinosa said. “A 57-year-old man doesn’t have sex with a 7-year-old girl — he rapes her.”
According to the Associated Press, a jury found Clemans guilty in September of buying children, conspiracy and traveling with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct. Previously, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy, producing and receiving child pornography.
Clemans’ attorney tried to get the judge to go lighter on his client's sentence because Clemans helped police arrest others involved in the sex trafficking. US District Judge John Mendez did not agree with his attorney. Instead, he called Clemans a dangerous man.
“He has taken away the childhood of those victims,” the judge said, according to the Associated Press.
"Clemans is precisely the type of person for whom a life sentence exist, (sic) a remorseless child-sex-predator who poses an urgent, persistent, and grievous risk to all children for the rest of his life," prosecutors said in a court document.
Clemans’ attorney said Clemans will appeal his life sentence. Though Clemans showed little emotion during his sentencing, he did express emotion toward his mother afterward.
“Thank you for your support and love,” he said in court. “I’ll see you on the other side.”
[Photo: US District Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California]