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Meth-addled felon gets 30 years for producing child porn using 3-year-old girl

Dale Duwayne Otis, Jr. was under the influence of methamphetamine when he took sexually explicit images of a child.
Credit: Mich. Dept. of Corrections
Dale D. Otis Jr., 51, has a lengthy criminal background that includes drug and weapons offenses.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A man with a history of drug abuse is heading to prison for taking sexually explicit photos of a three-year-old girl while he was under the influence of methamphetamine.

Dale Duwayne Otis, Jr.  was sentenced this week to 30 years in federal prison for production of child pornography.

U.S. District Court Judge Paul L. Maloney also ordered that Otis pay a $5,100 special assessment and serve a decade on supervised release once he gets out of prison.

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Investigators say Otis used a cell phone to take sexually explicit photos of the girl in April of 2018 at a home in Branch County. He is related to the girl. Investigators also found six images of child pornography on his cell phone.

Otis, 51, has a long history of substance abuse. He was in prison between 2006-16 for various drug and weapons offenses, court records show. 

“Mr. Otis was under the influence of methamphetamine at the time he committed this offense,’’  defense attorney Richard Zambon wrote in a sentencing memorandum.

Otis, who was born and raised in Coldwater, has mental health issues in addition to a history of substance abuse, Zambon wrote. 

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“Otis has used alcohol, marijuana, heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine from age 10 until his arrest on charges in this case,’’ Zambon wrote in a sentencing memorandum. “Methamphetamine is his drug of choice.’’

His attorney called the offense “reprehensible,’’ but said sentencing guidelines overstate the seriousness of the offense. A sentence in excess of the 15-year mandatory minimum “would be substantially unreasonable,’’ Zambon wrote.

Otis did not attempt to trade or share the photos he took, Zambon wrote in the sentencing memorandum.

“Mr. Otis does not deserve to be treated as if he owned an extensive collection of child pornography or actively traded in child pornography,’’ Zambon wrote. “A sentence in excess of the mandatory minimum of 15 years would unreasonably regard Mr. Otis as the worst of the worst.’’

Production of child pornography is punishable by a minimum of 15 years, and up to 30 years, in prison.

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