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AUSTIN, Texas — A judge sentenced a former Austin teacher to seven years in prison on May 10 for engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places following a Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Colombian National Police investigation.

Michael Wayne Roberts, 41, from Austin but living in Medellin, Colombia, was sentenced to 84 months in prison and 10 years of supervised release. The judge also ordered Roberts to pay $147,844.51 in restitution to his victims and register as a sex offender.

“Protecting the children in our communities remains a top priority for Homeland Security Investigations,” said HSI San Antonio acting Special Agent in Charge Alejandro M. Amaro. “This sentence is a testament that HSI remains committed to identifying individuals who prey on our most vulnerable population, especially those individuals that hold positions of public trust.”

According to court documents, Roberts was living in Medellin when he paid money for sex with three Colombian girls between the ages of 13 and 15 on multiple occasions between December 2020 and June 2021. Roberts was arrested on Sept. 15, 2022, and has remained in federal custody. He pleaded guilty in February to all three counts in his indictment.

“This sentencing reflects that those who engage in sexual conduct with minors, regardless of where it occurs, will be held accountable for their heinous, predatory crimes,” said U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza of the Western District of Texas. “I am grateful for the diligent work of the Colombian National Police and our federal partners at Homeland Security Investigations, leading to the arrest and prosecution of this individual. Their commitment to justice has made our communities safer and protected our most vulnerable population — our children.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Keith Henneke of the Western District of Texas prosecuted the case.

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free tip line at 866-347-2423 or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock. From outside the United States and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users may call TTY 802-872-6196.

HSI takes a victim-centered approach to child exploitation investigations by working to identify, rescue and stabilize victims. HSI works in partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, ICAC partners, and other federal, state and local agencies to help solve cases and rescue sexually exploited children. You can report suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 800-THE-LOST.

HSI is a founding member of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.

One of HSI’s top priorities is to protect the public from crimes of victimization, and HSI’s child exploitation investigations program is a central component of this mission set. Further, HSI is recognized as a global leader in this investigative discipline. The directorate is committed to utilizing its vast authorities, international footprint and strong government and nongovernment partnerships to identify and rescue child victims; identify and apprehend offenders; prevent transnational child sexual abuse; and help make the internet a safer place for children.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

ICE breaking news Former Austin teacher sentenced to 7 years for illicit sexual conduct in Colombia after HSI Austin investigation Government Agency News