Home Seattle Press Releases 2010 Michigan Man Sentenced for Using Internet to Entice Minor to Have Sex

Michigan Man Sentenced for Using Internet to Entice Minor to Have Sex

U.S. Attorney’s Office November 19, 2010
  • Eastern District of Washington (509) 353-2767

SPOKANE, WA—Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Timothy A. Shelly, age 47, formerly of Wyandotte, Michigan, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity and traveling interstate to have sex with a minor. He will be under federal court supervision and must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

This investigation began in September 2005, when the Wyandotte, Michigan, Police Department informed local authorities that they believed Timothy Shelly had been communicating on the Internet with a 13-year-old girl in eastern Washington. Subsequent investigation showed that Timothy Shelly flew from Michigan to Washington state to have sex with the 13-year-old girl over the Labor Day weekend in 2005. Law enforcement contacted the parents of the victim and they confirmed that they were aware of a Tim Shelly, but believed him to be the teenage boyfriend of their daughter, not a 41-year-old man. The investigation revealed that in January 2005, Timothy Shelly began communicating with the minor using the instant messaging features of the Internet. Initially, Timothy Shelly provided a false name and age to the victim. Timothy Shelly also sent the minor girl some candles, stuffed animals, a CD player, two rings and a bracelet, and cell phones. Eventually, Timothy Shelly enticed the victim into a sexual relationship. During the investigation, he sent her another cell phone hidden in a stuffed animal.

Michael C. Ormsby, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, said, "Adolescents are particularly vulnerable, especially to sexual predators that groom their victims with friendship and gifts. Children using the Internet are not necessarily safe just because they use the Internet at home. The network of dedicated law enforcement officers committed to uncovering sexual predators who prey on children are to be commended."

This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, the Department of Justice created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov. The Project Safe Childhood (PSC) Initiative has five major components:

Integrated federal, state, and local efforts to investigate and prosecute child exploitation cases, and to identify and rescue child victims Participation of PSC partners in coordinated national initiatives Increased federal enforcement in child pornography and enticement cases Training of federal, state, and local law enforcement agents Community awareness and educational programs To report these crimes, visit www.cybertipline.com or call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's hotline at 1-800-843-5678.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Stephanie Lister, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.

09-CR-089-RHW.