Battle Creek man sentenced to life in prison for sexual exploitation of teen girls

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Federal prosecutors say a Battle Creek man has been sentenced to life in prison for sexually exploiting three teenage girls.

The investigation into Michael Anthony Clayton started in October 2017, when Battle Creek Police found that he had trapped a 16-year-old girl inside his home.

Police found the girl in a dark basement along with drugs, guns and videos of Clayton having sex with the teen as well as two other girls ages 15 and 17 years old.  Authorities say he also forced one of the girls into prostitution.

Clayton was charged federally in the case and was found guilty by a jury of sexual exploitation, child porn, drug and firearms charges. U.S. District Court Judge Janet T. Neff sentenced him to life in prison.

Another man, Ramiro Hernandez, pleaded guilty to sex trafficking the 16-year-old girl and was sentenced to 10 years in prison after testifying against Clayton, the Justice Department said Tuesday in a release.

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