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Long sentence for man who drugged kids, made child porn

  1. EscapeDummy
    John and Bonnie Gilles flew from Appleton, Wis., to plead for mercy Friday for their son, who had already admitted doping up young teenage runaways, molesting some of them and using them as his child pornography props.

    The retired couple said they just learned this month that their son, Michael John Gilles, 36 – as his mother had long suspected – had been molested by their parish priest when he was a kid.


    "I feel he blocked out the abuse, but the effects of this distortion of his sexual integrity at a very young age came out in his sexually inappropriate behavior, and his drug abuse," his mother said in a tearful plea to the court.



    Sacramento Superior Court Judge Ernest W. Sawtelle listened to the couple, and he listened to defense attorney Tom Johnson say that if there are times for a judge to extend mercy, "We think this would be one of those days."


    Sawtelle listened, then he sentenced – hard.


    He blasted Gilles with the maximum term at his disposal, which added up to 26 years for his guilty pleas in October to 14 total counts of child molestation, producing child pornography and giving minors the street drug Ecstasy.


    "His victims were chosen in very predatory fashion," Sawtelle said. "They were just kids – little kids, not trash just because they were runaways."


    Gilles "chose to exploit them," the judge said, drugged them with Ecstasy "to make them pliable," made them "touch each other in certain ways" so he could take "horrendous photographs of them," which Sawtelle said are likely to wind up on the Internet.


    "You'll be out of prison some day," Sawtelle said. "They will always be victims."
    The Gilles couple said they adopted Michael in April of 1975 from his native Vietnam, when he was an orphan from the war that was then winding down. They said he grew up as a fairly happy kid but began acting out at the age of about 18 before running away from home.


    Around the same time Michael was getting in trouble, the couple said they were dealing with another adopted son who had been molested by the priest, who has since died.


    Bonnie Gilles said "we have long suspected" Michael also was a molestation victim.
    "When he left home at 18, I feel he was running away from having to deal with it, as his brother and the rest of our family was trying to do," Bonnie Gilles said in court.
    The couple did not say how they were able to confirm his molestation. They declined to discuss the case afterward.


    Gilles was arrested in February 2010 when a 13-year-old girl who had been reported missing turned up at his Sacramento residence.


    A police search of his house found 201 Ecstasy pills, a laptop computer and a camera. The investigation led detectives to at least four more victims, according to Gilles' probation report.


    By Andy Furillo
    Published: Saturday, Mar. 19, 2011 - 12:00 am

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