GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN—U.S. Attorney Mark Totten today announced that a federal grand jury has indicted Michael John Batt, 35, of Jenison, Michigan, with charges related to the production and distribution of child pornography.
“Protecting our most vulnerable, our kids, is a top priority for my office and our law enforcement partners,” said U.S. Attorney Mark Totten. “My office is committed to vigorously investigating and prosecuting these types of crimes against children.”
The indictment alleges that on or about September 19, 2022, Batt used and attempted to use a child of approximately three years of age to engage in the lascivious exhibition of the child’s genitals or pubic area for the purpose of photographing that conduct. According to the indictment, Batt created images of the child using an iPhone. The indictment also alleges that on or about September 20, 2022, Batt knowingly distributed four images of child pornography using an internet-based messaging application.
“HSI remains steadfast in our commitment to investigate these offenders and to also provide care and support for victims of these types of crimes,” said HSI Detroit Special Agent in Charge Angie Salazar. “Working together with our community partners we can help put a stop to child exploitation.”
“The Michigan State Police (MSP) Computer Crimes Unit, Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force is committed to tracking down suspects, rescuing victims, and proactively enforcing the laws that protect our children. The MSP values the strong relationship with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations,” said Detective Sergeant Chris Prevette of the Grand Rapids Computer Crimes Unit.
This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from exploitation and abuse. The U.S. Attorney’s Office; county prosecutor’s offices; HSI; ICAC; the West Michigan Based Child Exploitation Task Force (WEBCHEX); and federal, state, and local law enforcement are working closely together to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children. Anyone with information or concerns about possible child exploitation should contact local law enforcement. For more information about Project Safe Childhood in West Michigan, including resources for children and parents, please visit: http://www.justice.gov/usao/miw/programs/psc.html.
An indictment is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.