Child Sex Offender Who Faked Suicide to Escape Charges Arrested After 3 Years

By Venus Upadhayaya, Epoch Times
May 11, 2019 Updated: May 11, 2019

An accused child sex offender who escaped charges by faking suicide three years ago was arrested on May 3 on Stock Island, just outside of Key West in Florida, said Police.

Michael Patrick Manning, 58, was facing charges for sexually soliciting a minor under 14 years, engaging in sex acts with a minor, and for keeping 600 child pornography images, reported NBC News.

The Chico Police Department said in a statement that Manning sexually assaulted the victim when she was 12 to 14 years of age.

He skipped his sentence hearing on Sept. 6, 2015, and in October 2016 authorities found a rental car with a suicide note from Manning. Authorities believed that the offender had staged his own death.

“The US Parks Service located a rental car leased to Manning near the Golden Gate Bridge bearing a suicide note authored by Manning. Manning’s body was not located,” the police statement said.

Investigators began to monitor the behavior of a close associate of the offender and noted what appeared to be his “sophisticated countersurveillance measures.”

Authorities searched for Manning through Chico, Yuba City, Sacramento, San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, and Alameda. Investigators narrowly missed nabbing him on many occasions.

“Agents from the Marshal’s Service continued to monitor the behavior and developed leads regarding possibilities of Manning’s location. Residences, storage facilities, and vehicles tied to Manning’s associate were frequently found full of personal property and hastily abandoned,” the police said.

A breakthrough happened when agents of the US Marshal’s Service developed leads about Manning to be in Florida.

“On May 3rd, 2019 at 1:30 AM (EST), Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputies in Key West, Florida, responded to a burglary alarm at a business on the Stock Island Marina. Deputies located a man living in an unlocked connex storage trailer adjacent to the property,” said the police statement.

The man in the trailer identified himself as William Wallace Little John and was holding a passport and a US Navy ID card. Police found these documents to be fraudulent and arrested the man. The passport number belonged to a man in Utah and the authorities are not clear how the offender managed to obtain it.

Manning was booked into a Florida jail by the name “John Doe” as he refused to give his real name, according to NBC News.

“While in the Monroe County Jail, the suspect underwent fingerprint analysis and was positively identified as Michael Manning,” said the police statement.

The offender is charged for giving false identification to the authorities in Florida and is on bail pending extradition to California.

Child Sexual Abuse and Child Pornography

According to a report, Child Maltreatment 2010 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau 9.2 percent of victimized children are sexually assaulted in the country.

“1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse. Self-report studies show that 20% of adult females and 5-10% of adult males recall a childhood sexual assault or sexual abuse incident,” according to the National Center for Victims of Crime.

It says that children in the country are most vulnerable to sexual abuse between the age of seven and 13 years.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has given some alarming statistics about child pornography. “Rarely a week goes by in the United States that a child pornographer is not charged or sentenced for federal crimes related to the sexual exploitation of children,” it said in a post The Scourage of Child Pornography on its website.

it said the producers and consumers of child pornography operate through anonymous Internet networks like Tor.

“The FBI’s analysis of one particularly egregious website on Tor found that it hosted approximately 1.3 million images depicting children subjected to violent sexual abuse. Analysis of these specific files identified at least 73 new victims previously unknown to law enforcement,” The FBI said.

Follow Venus on Twitter: @venusupadhayaya