Attorney Held on Child Sex-Abuse Charges

     (CN) – An Oklahoma attorney traveled to Peru for a decade to have sex with children, federal prosecutors say in a three-count indictment.
     Michael Dean Billings, 59, of Oklahoma City, was charged Oct. 22 with conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of children, conspiracy to travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual contact and conspiracy to engage in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places. The criminal indictment was unsealed Friday.
     Prosecutors said Billings and others “conspired to commit sex trafficking of children by recruiting and obtaining children in Peru to engage in commercial sex acts and further conspired to travel from Oklahoma City to Iquitos, Peru.”
     “Billings and others known and unknown to the grand jury, conspired and agreed with each other to knowingly, in and affecting interstate and foreign commerce, recruit, entice, harbor, transport, provide, obtain and maintain by any means [victims] knowing and in reckless disregard of the fact that force, threats of force, fraud and coercion … that the victims had not attained the age of 18 years and would be caused to engage in commercial sex acts,” the four-page criminal indictment states.
     Billings flew to Peru “for the purposes of engaging in any illicit sexual conduct … with persons under 18 years of age,” the indictment states.
     He was arrested Friday morning at his law office and appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Suzanne Mitchell, who ordered him held without bond pending a final detention hearing scheduled for Monday afternoon.
     Billings faces up to life in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.

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