AUSTIN (KXAN) — A former Austin ISD teacher was sentenced to serve 84 months, or seven years, in prison Wednesday after engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign country, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
The DOJ said 41-year-old Michael Wayne Roberts was living in Medellin, Colombia, 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,” the DOJ said.
According to the department, the U.S. district judge ordered Roberts to pay $147,844.51 in restitution to the victims and 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.”
As a part of his sentence, Roberts also received 10 years of supervised release after serving seven years in prison.
“Protecting the children in our communities remains a top priority for Homeland Security Investigations,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Alejandro M. Amaro for HSI San Antonio. “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.”
Homeland Security Investigations and the Colombian National Police both investigated the case, according to the DOJ.