Lathrup Village sex offender charged in child pornography case

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published September 7, 2016

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LATHRUP VILLAGE — A year after being convicted of a sex crime involving a minor, a Lathrup Village man is being charged with a handful of other sexual offenses.

According to documents from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Mitchell Stankiewicz, 22, has been accused of producing and receiving child pornography, sending obscene material to a minor and online coercion and enticement of a minor.

Stankiewicz is a Tier 2 sex offender, convicted in June of 2015 for several violations of the Uniform Codes of Military Justice, including rape or sexual act with someone under the age of 12, possession of child pornography and bringing discredit upon the armed forces.

In late July, a new investigation on Stankiewicz was launched by the FBI’s Trafficking and Exploitation Task Force.

An eight-page affidavit details that the mother of a 14-year-old girl filed a police report, claiming that her daughter had been having an online sexual relationship and had sent pornographic/nude photos to an unknown person. The woman said the unknown person was also sending nude photos to her daughter.

When the victim spoke to police, she said she sent someone nude photos of herself on an app called Whisper, in which users are able to send texts and photographs through usernames instead of phone numbers, according to the affidavit.

Police obtained a search warrant for the victim’s Whisper account, and identified conversations between the victim and Whisper user “Drowning Cactus.”

“The conversations were sexually explicit, and (the victim) and Drowning Cactus exchanged nude/pornographic photographs,” investigators said in the report.

Investigators were able to obtain Drowning Cactus’ IP address, and traced it to the Stankiewicz home in Lathrup Village.

Upon reviewing the Facebook page for Stankiewicz, investigators determined that he is the person in the photo that Drowning Cactus sent of himself to the victim.

A search warrant was executed at the Stankiewicz home on Sept. 2, according to documents, and investigators determined probable cause to arrest the man for child pornography charges.

Stankiewicz appeared in court Sept. 6 in front of Magistrate Judge David R. Grand for a detention hearing.

During the hearing, it was determined that Stankiewicz will remain under custody of the law. Leslie Posner, attorney for Stankiewicz, said her client willingly consented to remaining in custody.

“I've reviewed the report with Mitchell and his family who are all here today and realized the presumption would be impossible to overcome and is probably in his best interest based on the charges and possible penalties that he remain in detention for the duration,” Posner said at the hearing.

A preliminary exam was scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sept. 16. 

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