• Former Cabarrus Co. school employee sentenced to 10 years for sex crimes involving child

    By: Eric Philips

    Updated:

    WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - A former Cabarrus County Schools employee has been sentenced after pleading guilty to sex crimes involving a child.

    Michael Osborne, 40, pleaded guilty to one count of coercion and enticement of a minor under a plea deal he received the mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison.

    Prosecutors suggested Osborne may have as many as 133 victims.

    Under a plea deal, he pleaded guilty to one count of coercion and enticement of a minor.

    Osborne was accused of posing as a teenage girl on Facebook and in texts to persuade teenage boys to send naked pictures of themselves.

    In federal court Thursday, his attorney said that in Osborne's own words, "He feels like a kid in a grown-up body. He has no friends, never had a girlfriend and has always lived with his 77-year-old mother from birth until now.”

    The attorney also pointed out that he had no prior criminal record and that he never had physical contact with any of the boys.

    His attorney said Osborne never developed sexually and is still unsure of his sexuality.

    This is Osborne's first criminal conviction, but prosecutors called what he did online and by text "serial" because they said he victimized as many as 133 others.

    After Osborne serves his 10 years in prison, he will be on strict, supervised probation for another 15 years and will go back to prison if he violates it.

    In court, Osborne apologized to his victims and their families, and to his family.

    Victims do have the option of pursing civil charges against Osborne but those close to the case say that likely won't happen because many are embarrassed.


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