(3/8/23)—A New Smyrna Beach, Florida man was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for video recording himself sexually abusing a child he met on social media and sharing the abuse video with others online.
Michael Wayne Lyon, 39, was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison and 10 years’ supervised release. Lyon must also register as a sex offender for life.
According to court documents and trial testimony, in October 2017, Lyon began exchanging messages online with a 13-year-old child. He first claimed to be 15 years old and later “confessed” to be being 17. Lyon’s conversations with the child quickly turned explicit and he convinced the child to send him naked photos. By the time Lyon admitted to being in his 30s, he had already extracted extensive personal information from the child including their full name, age, phone number, address, and the names of various family members. When the child tried to end the communication, Lyon persisted, continued contacting the child, and, in March 2018, travelled to the Pacific Northwest in hopes of meeting the child.
Fearing for the safety of family, the child agreed to meet Lyon. After traveling across the country, Lyon rented a car in Seattle and traveled to Oregon where he took the child to a hotel. Lyon video recorded himself abusing the child at the hotel and later shared the video online with several of the child’s friends and acquaintances.
From 2018 through 2020, Lyon continued contacting the child and created multiple social media accounts to avoid the child’s repeated attempts to block him. Lyon’s messages became increasingly threatening and, later, openly violent. In October 2020, he threatened to kill the child and the child’s family. Soon after, the child’s mother reported Lyon’s abuse and threats to the FBI.
On December 11, 2020, Lyon was charged by federal criminal complaint and an arrest warrant was issued. Nine days later, he was arrested by local law enforcement in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania and turned over to the FBI. Lyon has remained in federal custody since his arrest.
On February 2, 2021, Lyon was indicted by a federal grand jury in Portland, and, on August 11, 2022, he was convicted at trial.
This case was investigated by FBI Portland’s Child Exploitation Task Force (CETF) with assistance from the Hermiston and Umatilla Police Departments.
It was prosecuted by Pamela Paaso and Suzanne Miles, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon.
Anyone who has information about the physical or online exploitation of children are encouraged to call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324) or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.
The FBI CETF conducts sexual exploitation investigations, many of them undercover, in coordination with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. CETF is committed to locating and arresting those who prey on children as well as recovering and assisting victims of sex trafficking and child exploitation.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Justice Department to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
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