Counselor gets 17 years in prison; coerced teen girls online


PORT HURON, Mich. (AP) – A man who worked at a Port Huron counseling center for decades was sentenced to 17 years in prison for using internet chat rooms to sexually exploit girls while posing as a teenager.

Jackie Woodburn, 64, of Burtchville was charged with seven crimes before pleading guilty to producing child pornography. The government said he coerced girls into certain acts on camera.

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“The nature and circumstances of the offense are shocking. … Woodburn wrote sexually graphic content to these children, attempting to break down barriers between the normal and the taboo,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Mulcahy said in court filing.

Woodburn was sentenced Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Paul Borman. The government had sought a 20-year prison term. Prosecutors would have asked for more but said Woodburn’s age and health were mitigating factors.

A message seeking comment was left for Woodburn’s attorney Thursday.

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Woodburn had served as director of Colonial Woods Christian Counseling Center. He resigned in 2018.

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