Michigan man sentenced to over 19 years in prison for exploiting young boys online by posing as a woman

“Mr. Gillam’s conduct was manipulative, and he preyed on young boys."


On Friday, 34-year-old Tariq Andrew Gillam, of Kalamazoo, Michigan, was sentenced to 235 months, or more than 19 years, in prison for sexually exploiting young boys online by pretending to be a woman in chat rooms between January and February 2018.

According to a press release by US Attorney Mark Totten's office, Gillem used the name "Shay Nicole on Facebook, where he interacted with and encouraged three boys aged 10, 11, and 14 to send explicit pictures of themselves to him.

In a statement, Totten said, “Mr. Gillam’s conduct was manipulative, and he preyed on young boys." he added, "My office and our law enforcement partners will find predators and hold them accountable."

"Prevention plays an important role," Totten continued. "Candid conversations with our children to help them protect themselves in person and online is a strong first step. Equally important is giving our children a safe place to talk to their parents and other trusted adults and disclose when they have become a victim."

"Shame and embarrassment can become terrible weapons against victims. They need to know that they are not to blame and they are not alone," he concluded.

Head of the FBI in Michigan, Special Agent Cheyvoryea Gibson said, "There’s no tolerance for individuals who use online platforms as a tool to mentally and emotionally manipulate our youngest members of society." He noted, “Investigating crimes against children is one of the FBI’s greatest priorities and our office will continue rid our cities of such offenders.”

The arrest was part of the Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood, where the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), and state, federal, and other local law enforcement work together to safeguard children from online exploitation.

Upon release from prison, Gillam will be required to serve an additional 10 years of supervised release.

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