Man facing child porn sentence offers help

By Edward Lewis elewis@civitasmedia.com

February 3, 2014

SCRANTON — A Luzerne man who federal prosecutors believe is a danger to children due to his receiving and distributing more than 10,000 images of child pornography is scheduled to be sentenced this week to more than a decade in prison.

Michael Shaw, 39, formerly of Bennett Street, apologized for “committing such a disgusting crime” and is offering his service to authorities when he is released.

“I do not believe children should be exploited especially in this type of manner on the Internet,” Shaw wrote, noting he needs help and wants to assist law enforcement authorities to capture similar criminals.

He was arrested by Luzerne police and Luzerne County detectives in June on 1,753 counts of child pornography after investigators visited his house based on a tip he had a sexually explicit chat with a young boy. From there, authorities said they learned about Shaw kissing an 11-year-old boy and finding “a large volume” of images of child pornography on his computer and discs.

Shaw was indicted by a federal grand jury in September, which led to the dismissal of child pornography charges in county court. He pleaded guilty in federal court to receiving and distributing images of children engaged in sex acts from 2012 to June, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Federal prosecutors are requesting that Shaw to be sentenced to 17.6 to 20 years in prison while his attorney, Leo A. Latella, is seeking a 14-year prison term, according to sentencing memorandums filed Friday and Monday. Shaw is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion.

Federal prosecutors say Shaw collected, received and distributed more than 10,000 images of child pornography, and posed as a 15-year-old boy to persuade a 10-year-old boy to send nude photographs. Shaw allegedly kissed the neck of a 11-year-old boy, kept a picture of the kiss on his computer and attempted to have webcam sex with multiple other boys, according to sentencing memorandum filed by prosecutors.

Shaw’s conduct “has demonstrated a dangerous sexual attraction to children…the most effective way to protect the public from more crimes is to sentence him to a very lengthy term of imprisonment,” prosecutors wrote.