BURTON, MI – A Burton man charged with six counts of child sexually abusive material, accused of possessing and manufacturing child pornography, has acted as a licensed foster parent for around five years.
Michael Thomas Bradley, 57, was arrested Thursday, April 11, and charged with six counts of child sexually abusive material . He is accused of harboring images of three to five boys ages 4 to 10 years old in photographs and several computers at his home.
Amanda Holdsworth, director of communications for Lutheran Service of Michigan, said Bradley had been licensed through the agency as well as the state’s Bureau of Children and Adult Licensing.
Two foster children in Bradley’s care were immediately removed from his home Thursday when the organization was notified by Burton police of the incident, she said.
Those children have been placed with other foster parents. Bradley has had other foster children, but Holdsworth said she could not release the exact number.
She noted people hoping to become foster parents in the organization go through “a pretty thorough background check,” including a criminal check, provide personal and professional recommendations and perform 20 hours of state-mandated foster parent training.
Holdsworth said foster parents are required to renew their position every two years with the state, but LSSM also requires a renewal each year along with six hours of foster parent training and they are notified when any legal incident arises.
An independent investigation by the agency has begun that will include Child Protective Services, criminal investigators and LSSM staff. The organization handles up to 800 foster children at any given time.
“The average time is 45 days (for an investigation),” Holdsworth said, followed by recommendation to the state’s licensing agency. “If there is evidence to support (the claims), they would recommend to BCAL to revoke the license.”
Bradley has been released on a $150,000 cash surety bond, pending further charges. He’s been directed to have no contact with the victims or any children under 18 years of age. An 8:30 a.m. Friday, April 19 pretrial hearing has been scheduled.
Each charge Bradley faces comes with a potential punishment of four years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine. Leyton said if Bradley is found guilty, it would be up to the discretion of the judge on whether or not he served the time consecutively.
"We took a lot of computers, computer equipment through the search warrant," said Burton Detective Shawn Duncanson, noting there were also dozen of pieces of material taken from the home.
A forensic investigator is sifting through information on “a number of computers” taken from the home, Leyton said, who expected additional action to come forth against Bradley.
“I believe there will be additional charges coming once those are reviewed,” he said, but Leyton could not provide a timeline on when more charges may come.
Holdsworth was a bit shaken by the news, stating, "We do such thorough checks and you go through everything and when a red flag hasn’t been raised, it’s scary. Our primary concern is the children."
"To see something like this...it's obviously a tragedy and we're concerned for the children," she said.