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A Florence man was sentenced to federal prison after pleading guilty to 20 counts of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.

Michael Tays, 36, will serve 840 months in prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release. When he is released from custody, he will be required to register as a sex offender.

Court documents show Tays sexually abused an eight-year-old child repeatedly and made photos and videos of the brutalities.

Tays pleaded guilty in March.

U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona said the sentence will mean Tays will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.

"Through collaborative law enforcement efforts, we continue to investigate and prosecute those responsible for these horrific crimes," said Escalona.

FBI special agent in charge Johnnie Sharp, Jr. said offenders like Tays must be taken off the streets and brought to justice.

“Thanks to the efforts of the FBI’s Child Exploitation Human Trafficking Task Force and our partners, this predator will be held accountable for his actions and be identified as a sex offender," Sharp added.

Escalona said the case was made possible because of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative by the Department of Justice.

FBI Birmingham’s Child Exploitation Human Trafficking Task Force investigated the case, along with the St. Florian Police Department and Lauderdale County Sheriff’s office. Assistant U.S. Attorney R. Leann White prosecuted the case and U.S. District Judge Madeline H. Haikala sentenced Tays.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email erica.thomas@1819news.com.

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