HENDERSON, Ky (WEHT) – An Evansville man will spend the next 21 years in federal prison after authorities say he recorded himself sexually abusing a minor.

Authorities state Michael Hines, 39, pled guilty to production and attempted production of child sexual abuse material.

According to court documents, on May 17, 2017, Hines used his smart phone to record videos of himself engaging in sexual acts with a minor. Authorities state the victim at the time was four years old.

“The sexual abuse of a toddler is as heinous a crime as a person can commit,” said United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, Zachary A. Myers. “The public and the victim are safer today because this defendant will spend many years in federal prison. I commend the work of the FBI, the Evansville Police Department, and our federal prosecutor to ensure that this dangerous pedophile is held accountable for his actions.”

“This sentence ensures the defendant can no longer prey on innocent children and our community will be a much safer place without him on the streets,” said FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Herbert J. Stapleton. “We are committed to working alongside valued partners like the Evansville Police Department to protect our children from predators such as this.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Evansville Police Department investigated the case. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Court Judge, Richard L. Young. Young also ordered Hines be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for ten years following his release from federal prison. Additionally, Hines must register as a sex offender wherever he lives, works, and goes to school.

Myers thanked Assistant United States Attorney Lauren M. Wheatley, who prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.