ORLANDO, Fla. (TND) — A Florida man has been sentenced to 80 years in federal prison for the production and distribution of child sex abuse material.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office also said Michael VanNess, Jr., 39, will serve a lifetime of supervised release if he makes it out.
Authorities said the investigation began when VanNess uploaded child sex abuse material involving young children to a social media group.
They got a search warrant for his phone and found evidence showing VanNess had sexually abused a 14-year-old victim over a period of seven months.
The feds said VanNess even “recorded the sexual abuse and threatened the child victim to ensure his illegal conduct remained a secret.”
VanNess, of Clermont, Fla., was arrested for sexual battery and lewd or lascivious molestation in Lake County in February, and he pleaded guilty in federal court on July 21.