Former Principal Sentenced in Multi-State Sex Abuse Case

November 11, 2014 Abuse and Neglect Attorney

Michael Ettenberger, the 46-year-old former Indiana middle school principal was recently sentenced to a minimum of five years in prison. He was convicted by a jury in Jackson County on multiple felony counts relating to criminal sexual conduct.

His sentencing was as follows:

2nd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct: 5 years minimum to 15 years maximum
Child Sexually Abusive Activity: 5 years minimum to 20 years maximum
Using a Computer to Communicate with Another to Commit a Crime: 5 years minimum to 20 years maximum
Possession of Child Sexually Abusive Material: 1 year minimum to 4 years maximum

The sex abuse charges were the result of a long and complex investigation that spanned states and involved multiple police departments. The investigation first began when police in Indiana came across a Craigslist ad posted by a supposed married couple with preteen daughters. They were seeking other “adventurous” couples who enjoyed “taboo” fantasies.

Police later discovered that this was only one of many Craigslist ads Ettenberger had posted. In some he posed as a single female. In others he claimed to be a married couple. All of the ads expressed an interest in finding others looking to participate in sex with children, group sex, or sex with animals, which he called “man’s best friend” in his ads.

During the course of the investigation, authorities discovered that Ettenberger had made prior internet contact with Jill Miller, a woman from Clarklake in Michigan, and the former president of a Parent Teacher Organization. Once Ettenberger had established a relationship with her, he pressured her into sending sexual photos and videos to him via the internet. These videos and photos were of Miller’s daughter, who is now 9 years old.

Ettenberger was charged in December of 2013 with four felonies, and found to be guilty on all counts in late September 2014. He will serve out his sentence in Michigan.