CORUNNA — Thirty-fifth Circuit Court Judge Matthew Stewart sentenced an Owosso man Friday to consecutive prison terms for numerous felony charges that involved taking inappropriate photos of a six-year-old minor female family member and posting them online.
Travis Lee Lauderdale, 22, will spend from 15 years, 10 months to 45 years in prison for two counts of aggravated possession of child sexually abusive materials (CSAM), two counts of using a computer to commit a crime, and one reduced count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. Stewart also ordered Lauderdale to pay court costs and fines, and credited him with 149 days served toward his sentence.
“When a computer is used to commit a crime, the legislature allows the court to impose consecutive sentencing,” Stewart told Lauderdale. “Mr. Lauderdale, you molested (victim), took pictures of (victim’s) genitals, and upload them to the internet. The court almost doesn’t know how to begin unpacking that act.” The Argus-Press does not typically identify victims of sexual assault.
Stewart imposed consecutive sentencing on one count of aggravated possession of CSAM and one count of using a computer to commit a crime. Sentencing for the other counts will run concurrent with the consecutive sentences.
Lauderdale was arrested Aug. 30, 2019, following an investigation by Michigan State Police, and arraigned the same day in 66th District Court before Judge Ward Clarkson; he pleaded not guilty. Lauderdale has been lodged at the Shiawassee County Jail since that time while awaiting disposition of the charges.
Prosecutors originally charged Lauderdale with the CSAM and using a computer to commit a crime counts, along with first-degree CSC.
At a plea hearing Nov. 21, 2019, Lauderdale pleaded guilty to the above charges, and prosecutors reduced the CSC to a third-degree offense.
“Aside from the immediate harm a sex offense has on a child, the problem the court has with child molesters or pedophiles, or whatever you want to call them, is the long-term effect it has, not only on the child, but that child invariably will have relationship problems of their own,” Stewart said. “For a brief moment of self-gratification, you caused long-term damage, not only to this victim, but the people this victim will have relationships with. There’s no cure. A child cannot be un-molested. A child cannot be un-traumatized. Now this child has a lifetime of pain.”
“I would like to get some help,” Lauderdale said, before receiving his sentence. “I need help.”
The victim’s mother gave a victim’s impact statement to the court, calling Lauderdale “a monster,” before telling Stewart members of Lauderdale’s family were “laughing at her” as she walked into the court room.
“They won’t do that here,” Stewart said. “They better not. I don’t want to hear anything said to this young mother, who has done nothing wrong. Not a word. Or people will go to jail.”
“I caught a child molester, and that’s what he is,” the victim’s mother said.