23-year-old Michael Eales of Westby will spend the next 30 years behind bars and the rest of his life on supervision for repeatedly sexually assaulting an 18-month-old child and distributing the video online. Eales was sentenced federal court in Madison this week after pleading guilty to lesser charges in order to avoid a possible 60 year sentence.
Eales was indicted by a Grand Jury in June after an investigation that
originated with the Department of Homeland Security, Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation. According to court documents that investigation began when a video was distributed on the internet of someone engaged in sexual acts with a child. The video was distributed across an encrypted network and the Dept. of Homeland Security and to decode the network that eventually led them to IP address associated with Eales address in Westby. Federal and state authorities were then able to match items that appeared in the video to that residence and eventually led them to Eales.
In June Eales is charged with four counts of using a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of transmitting a live visual depiction of the conduct. The indictment alleged that he did so on March 30, April 13, April 24, and May 2, 2013. Eales was facing a minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years in federal prison on each count. Eales pleaded guilty to two counts of manufacturing child pornography.
In federal court Eales attorney, Michael Lieberman, asked for a 15-year sentence for his client in part because he been the victim of sexual abuse himself as a child and both his parents are convicted sex offenders.
Western District Judge William Conley sentenced Eales to 30 years in prison and lifetime supervision once released because he said Eales poses such a danger to the public.
Eales still faces four counts of First Degree Child Sexual Assault – Intercourse
with Person under 12 in Vernon County. He is scheduled to face those charges on Nov. 25 at 3 pm in Vernon County Circuit Court.
Judge Conley order that Eales federal sentence run concurrently with whatever sentence he receives in Vernon County.
Federal authorities have also indicated the investigation is ongoing in another state and an search warrant has been executed in relation the person who viewed the video(s) and they are also facing federal charges.
Category: Local News