'Tried to publish child porn'

Michael Christianson

La PORTE – A La Porte man on probation from a child molesting conviction is now facing federal charges for trying to publish a book containing images of child pornography, according to federal prosecutors.

Michael Christianson, 50, has been charged in a federal criminal complaint with transportation of child pornography, according to a joint announcement from U.S. Attorney Thomas Kirsch, FBI Special Agent In Charge Grant Mendenhall, and La Porte County Prosecutor John Lake.

The complaint alleges that on or about July 2, 2019, FBI agents from the Charlotte [North Carolina] Division were contacted by a book publisher about material contained inside three books submitted for publication and authored by Christianson, according to Ryan Holmes, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office in Hammond.

That lead was later passed on to Indiana FBI agents.

"The books appear to be geared toward children as they use large fonts, simple words, and most of the sentences rhyme," Holmes said in a statement. "The books explain and show images of the body parts of boys and girls, encourage and show images of children playing naked with one another, and encourage and show images of naked children playing with adults, including naked adults."

According to the complaint, the forms of “play” encouraged by the books include "hand to genital, and genital to genital contact," Holmes said. "The photographs and illustrations in the books include depictions of minor children being caused to lasciviously display their genitals or otherwise engage in sexually explicit conduct."

Christianson – who uses the aliases "Trixie" and "Byron Eugene Wall," according to the Indiana Sex and Violent Offender Registry – was convicted of child molesting in La Porte County in 2002.

He was sentenced to serve 30 years in prison and register as a Sexually Violent Predator for the rest of his life, Holmes said. He was released from prison in 2016 and "was still on probation at the time of the newly charged offense."

Christianson remained in federal custody as of Friday, and a detention hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday before U.S. District Judge John Martin at the federal courthouse in Hammond.

Anyone with information regarding any contact Christianson has had with minor children is encouraged to call the FBI at 219-942-4900.

The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Gang Response Investigative Team in coordination with the Indiana State Police, Michigan City Police, Lake County (Illinois) State’s Attorney’s Office and the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jill Koster.

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