Crime - Sacto 911

Modoc County man traced by Australian police sentenced in child porn case

A Modoc County man whose Internet activities caught the attention of police in Australia has been sentenced in federal court in Sacramento to nearly 20 years in prison.

Michael Elliot Papac, 47, of Alturas, was sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez to 19 years and seven months in prison, followed by a lifetime of supervised release for receiving and distributing child pornography, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office news release.

Court documents show that Papac was arrested Feb. 14 after U.S. law enforcement authorities were alerted by the Queensland Police Service in Australia to potential sexual abuse of a minor. A covert Internet investigator in Queensland came into contact with Papac on a Russian website known as a source of child pornography. Authorities said Papac had posted photos of a sleeping 8-year-old girl with her pajama top unbuttoned. Papas discussed his plan to sedate and molest the girl while she slept and to distribute photographs of the molestation, authorities said.

With assistance from Australian police, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations agents traced Papac’s email to his residence in Alturas and arrested him before he was able to act on his plan. In addition, at least three times between Feb. 7 and Feb. 10, Papac sent and received child pornography, authorities said.

Papac pleaded guilty to the charges in June.

He was convicted in 2005 in Modoc County for lewd acts with a minor and served six years in prison.

Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.