- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 1, 2007

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Missouri man accused of kidnapping and molesting two boys was indicted yesterday on federal charges that he took pornographic pictures and videos of one of the youngsters.

The indictment marked the first federal charges against Michael Devlin, 41, a former pizzeria manager from the St. Louis suburbs.

Mr. Devlin is charged with kidnapping and other offenses in the 2002 abduction of Shawn Hornbeck, who is now 15, and the January abduction of 13-year-old Ben Ownby. Both boys were found in Mr. Devlin’s apartment Jan. 12.

U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway said four counts of the six-count indictment purport that Mr. Devlin photographed and videotaped a minor engaged in sexually explicit acts between 2002 and this year. Two other counts say he took the minor to Illinois and Arizona with the intent to engage in sexual assault.

Miss Hanaway said all six counts involved the same child, identified only as “S.” The charges did not name Shawn, but authorities have purported that Mr. Devlin held him captive from October 2002 until police found the boy in January.

Besides the federal charges, Mr. Devlin faces 75 state charges, including forcible sodomy, kidnapping and armed criminal action. He has pleaded not guilty to all those charges.

Mr. Devlin’s attorney, Michael Kielty, said he had not seen the prosecution’s evidence, but he acknowledged that most child pornography cases are “very emotional, very difficult.”

“If there are photos and videotapes, that certainly would add some weight to the government’s case,” Mr. Kielty said. The Hornbeck family attorney, Scott Sherman, did not respond to an interview request.

Authorities say Mr. Devlin used a gun to abduct Shawn as the boy was riding his bicycle near his home. Prosecutors have said he sodomized Shawn at least once a month for the next four years.

When Ben was abducted soon after getting off a school bus in January, a witness got a description of the white pickup seen speeding away. The description matched Mr. Devlin’s vehicle, leading to his arrest.

Mr. Devlin remains jailed on $1 million bond.


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