An active-duty soldier has been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to attempting to coerce a minor into sexual activity.
Staff Sgt. Michael Wilson, 38, was sentenced to 180 months for the “attempted coercion of a minor to engage in sexual activity,” according to a Department of Justice press release on Wednesday; he has also been ordered to pay $100,000 each to two minor victims and will be required to serve 15 years of supervised release after leaving prison, and registering as a sex offender. An Army official confirmed Wilson’s military status to Task & Purpose; additional details about his service were not immediately available.
Michael — along with his wife, Lori Wilson — were charged with separate federal indictments in Nov. 2019. The cases were being investigated by the FBI and Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID).
In June 2020, Lori pled guilty to tampering with a witness after “attempting to persuade a victim to recant allegations” about Michael’s coercion A DOJ press release says. Lori admitted that she tried to persuade the minors that their experiences were “psychic visions” or “dreams,” the DOJ’s release said, and tried to get them to withhold information from Army CID agents.
Michael has also been charged with seven violations of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice for rape and sexual assault of a child; the charges “relate to multiple minor victims” and are pending, according to the release.
Chris Hacker, the FBI’s special agent in charge on the case, said in Wednesday’s release that Michael’s sentencing “wraps up a traumatic chapter in a young child’s life.”
“No matter how severe the sentence it will never wipe away the scars left on this innocent child,” Hacker said. “But it will hopefully send a deterrent message to anyone contemplating similar predatory activity.”