OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – An Osceola County man was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for producing and possessing child pornography, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.
Judge Carlos E. Mendoza sentenced 63-year-old Michael Belmares, of St. Cloud, after evidence showed he took lewd pictures of multiple children in shopping center parking lots across the county as well as had thousands of pictures of children being sexually abused as far back as 1996.
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Belmares pleaded guilty on March 15 and was sentenced to 25 years in prison and a subsequent 10-year term of supervised release, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. He also must register as a sex offender following his time in prison.
The investigation was led by the FBI and the St. Cloud Police Department and was brought to light as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide effort spearheaded by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. For more information about the initiative, click here.