Berkley man faces January sentencing for child porn charge

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published November 7, 2017

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BERKLEY — A Berkley resident who was arrested on child pornography charges last year has pleaded guilty to one count and will be sentenced in January.

Michael Dembs — who was arrested on Dec. 8, 2016, for receipt of child pornography, distribution of child pornography and possession of child pornography — has a sentencing date set for 9:30 a.m. Jan. 17, 2018, before United States District Court Judge John Corbett O’Meara.

“Michael Dembs has accepted responsibility, and he’s deeply sorry for his actions,” Dembs’ attorney, David S. Steingold, said. “He has apologized to all who were hurt by his actions.”

According to Dembs’ plea agreement, he pleaded guilty to count one, receipt of child pornorgraphy. If he agreed to the deal, the government would drop the other charges against him, according to the agreement. The deal was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan Sept. 12.

The minimum sentence is set at five years, with a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The maximum fine is not to exceed $250,000, and the terms of a supervised release are no less than five years and up to life.

Dembs’ arrest came after FBI authorities began looking at an IP address that was found to have downloaded child pornorgraphy. 

Between July 21 and 28 of last year, an undercover FBI agent downloaded four videos from the user, where three of the four were found to contain child pornography. A subpoena sent to AT&T to learn the subscriber information of the user confirmed it was Dembs.

Authorities went to Dembs’ home Dec. 8 to interview him about the evidence they had linked to his IP address. Dembs told them he’d been watching child pornography since the early 2000s, according to court documents.

The criminal complaint states, “A preliminary forensic preview was done on a computer and thumb drive located in the house. The thumb drive contained at least one video of children engaging in sex acts.”