Virginia man who sexually coerced 50 children gets 50 years

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A 35-year-old Virginia man who sexually coerced 50 children through Facebook has been sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Chief U.S. District Judge Randy Crane sentenced Michael Tienping Tang, who pleaded guilty on May 22, 2019 to the sexual exploitation of children in the McAllen area, on Thursday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas said in a news release.

“At the hearing, the court heard additional evidence including how victims of these schemes frequently feel deep fear and shame and often delay in reporting the conduct,” the release stated. “In this case, however, Judge Crane heard how two minor victims ultimately came forward and exposed Tang’s crimes.”

And it wasn’t Tang’s first time.

The court also noted in handing down the lengthy sentence that Tang was under supervision after being convicted in 2012 of attempted indecent liberties with a child and two counts of possession of child pornography in Virginia, the release said.

The judge also noted that Tang used social media to stalk his victims and their friends in family with multiple accounts he used to coerce over 50 victims to engage in sexually explicit acts.

“Tang’s requests frequently included bestiality and would demand minor victims with younger siblings to produce images and videos engaging in sexually explicit conduct with their younger siblings,” the release stated.

The investigation began in May 2017 after authorities learned of the possible sexual exploitation of two minors within a local school district. Investigators learned that Tang coerced them into producing child sexual abuse material.

“When the victims blocked Tang on Facebook, he created new accounts, communicated and interacted with the victim’s Facebook friends and contacts and regained access to them,” the release stated. “After regaining access, Tang coerced both victims to engage in a list of sexual activities by threatening to disseminate their images and videos.”

When one minor victim who did not meet a deadline Tang set to produce child sexual abuse material, Tang distributed a sexually explicit video of that minor.

Alamdar S. Hamdani, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas, called Tang sick and depraved.

“Today’s sentence shrinks Tang’s social circle shaped by the vastness of an online world to the restrictive confines of a federal penitentiary,” Hamdani said in the release.

Craig S. Larrabee, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in San Antonio, said Tang’s sexual abuse is deeply cruel and generates trauma that may not heal, adding that he hopes to sentence provides a measure of justice to those he harmed.

“Fortunately, he will spend the next 50 years in prison where he cannot harm another child. We will seek the same lengthy sentence for anyone who seeks to take advantage of children in our communities,” the release stated.

Following his sentence, he will spend the rest of his life on supervised release, will be required to comply with restrictions limiting his access to children and the internet, and will be ordered to register as a sex offender.