N, Texas — Editor’s note: The above video was published in September 2022.
A former Austin Independent School District (AISD) employee has been sentenced to seven years in prison for traveling to Colombia to have sex with minors, according to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
Court documents state that Michael Wayne Roberts, 41, was living in Medellin, Colombia, when he paid to have sex with three Colombian girls between the ages of 13 and 15 from December 2020 and June 2021. On Sept. 15, 2022, Roberts was arrested. He has remained in federal custody since then.
In February 2023, Roberts pleaded guilty to all three counts in his indictment.
Roberts has been sentenced to seven years in prison, which will be followed by 10 years of supervised release for “engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places,” according to the DOJ.
Alongside the prison sentence and supervised released, Roberts was ordered to pay $147,844.51 in restitution to the victims. He must also register as a sex offender.
“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.”
After Roberts was taken into federal custody, AISD confirmed that he was an employee with the district and that the district had been notified when he was arrested by the Department of Homeland Security. Roberts was an employee at Sadler Means Young Women’s Leadership Academy and Garcia Young Men’s Leadership Academy, after working at Navarro Early College High School.
Roberts had cleared AISD’s background check process in July 2021 and had begun working in the district for the 2021-22 school year. AISD placed Roberts on administrative leave following his arrest but stated in September 2022 that no allegations of Roberts interacting inappropriately with students were made.
Both Homeland Security Investigations and Colombian National Police investigated, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Keith Henneke prosecuted the case. Libertas International, an ONG based out of Wyoming and working in Medellin, Colombia are supporting the survivors.