GRAND RAPIDS -- The second of two brothers convicted of what a judge called "despicable'' sexual abuse, was sentenced Thursday to 27 years in federal prison for assaulting a 10-year-old girl and then bragging about it to his younger brother.
"Good night last night,'' was the subject line in an October 2013 e-mail Timothy Matthew Masters sent to his brother, which included a pornographic image taken of the victim while the girl slept.
"To say this is despicable is an understatement,'' federal judge Paul L. Maloney told Timothy Masters during a sentencing hearing Thursday. "The defendant has got some deep, deep recesses.''
|Timothy Matthew Masters|
Eric Devin Masters, 28, is serving 50 years in federal prison for producing child pornography, including a video that shows him raping an 18-month-old girl in a Byron Township motel.
It was his older brother's turn to appear in front of a U.S. District Court judge in Grand Rapids on Thursday.
Maloney told Timothy Masters his young victim "may never fully recover'' from the trauma he caused.
In addition to prison, Maloney ordered Masters to serve 10 years on supervised release once he is released at the age of 59.
Timothy Masters is the eighth federal offender in west Michigan to be convicted based on work by the West Michigan Based Child Exploitation Task Force (WEBCHEX). The FBI-led cooperative was launched in 2013 to investigate crimes against children.
Excellent! Congratulations guys, you are doing great work.
Detectives from the Michigan State Police, sheriff departments in Kent, Ottawa, Ionia and Allegan counties along with the Grand Rapids Police Department are assigned to the unit.
The case involving Eric Devin Masters is likely the most egregious. He sexually assaulted a girl during an eight-day period in 2012 at a motel located off U.S.-131 in Byron Township, detectives said.
Videos taken at the motel show Masters engaged in multiple sex acts with the girl, who at times was tied to a bed. In one of the videos, Masters is urinating on the child, court records show.
Investigations by WEBCHEX have led to criminal charges in 17 other cases in Michigan and neighboring states, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a news release.
U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles called WEBCHEX "a force multiplier'' for rescuing child victims and protecting others from becoming victims.
Timothy Masters was indicted in May for sexual exploitation of a child. The government accused him of taking close-up photos of the prepubescent girl after removing the girl's clothing while she slept. The image was then shared with his brother.
His attorney sought a measure of leniency, arguing that Eric Masters "was the driving force'' behind his brother's involvement in child pornography.
"But for his brother's contact he likely would not be standing before the court,'' defense attorney Keith W. Turpel wrote on Timothy Masters' behalf.
Masters has "deviant sexual urges'' but is also a devoted father to an 8-year-old son. His character is "likely better than his current reputation,'' Turpel wrote.
"Hate the sickness, not the man,'' Turpel concluded, citing a passage from a letter written by the defendant's mother.
The sickness is the man!
"Lord, who may abide in your tabernacle? Who may dwell in your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart.... In whose eyes the vile person is despised". Psalm 15:1,2,4a.
A Melvindale man who had dozens of child pornographic images stored away in a house that had hidden passageways and rooms was sentenced Thursday to 50 years in federal prison.
Charles Miller, 59, will serve the sentence consecutively to a 30-year sentence he received earlier this year from the state on two counts of criminal sexual conduct involving a 7-year-old girl and 10-year-old girl, according to Gina Balaya, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Miller was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland.
The disturbing case began unfolding Oct. 2, 2013, when Lincoln Park police executing a search warrant at Miller's home for guns and drugs, stumbled across a digital camera. The officers turned it on and saw nude photos of the two girls.
Police also found numerous sexually explicit videos containing young girls in Miller's home.
According to federal court documents, Miller's house had an extensive surveillance system, including dozens of closed-circuit cameras and multiple viewing screens, a semi-hidden surveillance room under the staircase and guns stashed in a hidden mirrored closet.
The documents also stated Miller had a second-floor bedroom decorated for little girls, painted green and purple, with numerous stuffed animals, some wearing girl's underwear or adult female lingerie, boxes containing condoms, sex toys, restraints, a mask and a leash.
Police were able to identify the girls after locating their mother, who told them that her daughters occasionally spent weekends at Miller's home.
The girls, who were interviewed by a certified child forensics interviewer, said they were "posed and coached" by Miller.
I am just horrified at the number of mothers who let their children spend nights or weekends, or for that matter, any amount of time in the home of single men. Sometimes I think the mothers should be charged as accomplices to the abuse of their own children, or at least with inadequate care and protection of the child.