OKC Man Accused of Sex Tourism Denied Bond Change Request14-Aug-2015
An Oklahoma City man accused of traveling to Peru and Thailand to have sex with minors requested important changes to the terms of his release. Earlier this week, a federal judge denied his request.
In October 2014, a federal grand jury indictment was unsealed, charging Michael Billings, 59, with three counts of conspiracy to engage in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places. He was released on bond but ordered to house arrest, and as an alleged sex offender, he was prohibited from being around children as a condition of his release.
Billings, who is accused of engaging in child prostitution in Peru and Thailand, requested his own children be allowed to have young friends visit the home, saying, "[M]inor family members should be allowed to have their minor friends visit them at the family home, restaurants, movie theaters, and other venues."
He further requested that his house arrest be lifted, proposing instead a nightly curfew from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 the following morning.
After a United States District Judge denied Billings's curfew request, maintaining house arrest for the defendant, Billings withdrew his request to allow children to visit his home.
Billings was charged after Peruvian agents found him and an Ada bail bondsman, Robert Pierce, taking a 13-year-old girl and a 17-year-old girl into a hotel room in Iquitos, Peru. In Pierce's hotel room, investigators say they found "22 condoms, Viagra tablets, four large bags of candy, 26 U.S. $100 bills, gift books and extra small Victoria’s Secret female undergarments."
Billings, who has been to Peru 36 times since 2003, denies any wrongdoing. He explains the presence of the teen girls and the miscellaneous items in Pierce's room by saying the 13-year-old is a daughter of Pierce's former fiance, and that he was simply going to take her and her friend to dinner. He says the small lingerie was not intended for young girls, but for small women, and the condoms were because, "[Pierce] is a single guy. He does what single guys do." He says that he was not even with Pierce when he was detained, and that Peruvian officials cleared them of any wrongdoing.
The defendant blames his predicament on an informant--a "former friend" who tried to "set him up." Billings says he has been completely transparent during the investigation, cooperating fully with federal agents.
His trial is set for December. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison.
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