Autopsy shows sex ring leader was stabbed repeatedly

Robert Snell
The Detroit News
Christian Maire, the mastermind of an international child exploitation ring, was killed and a second member of the ring injured after being stabbed in what is believed to be a targeted attack by fellow inmates at Milan federal prison.

Christian Maire, the mastermind of an international child exploitation ring killed during a prison attack last week, was repeatedly stabbed and bashed in the head, according to a preliminary autopsy report.

The Washtenaw County Medical Examiner's Office classified the Jan. 2 death as a homicide and listed the cause of death as multiple stab wounds and blunt force trauma to the head. The office is awaiting additional tests that could be finished in 60 days.

Nobody has been charged with the killing, but investigators have identified people who participated in an attack that involved seven inmates at Milan's federal prison, a source told The Detroit News.

Another member of the sex ring, Michal Figura, 36, an IT specialist at the University of Pennsylvania, was injured in the attack. His condition was unclear Wednesday, but the Bureau of Prisons website lists him as being at the Milan detention facility.

Details surrounding the attack that left two others injured were unclear, but one source familiar with the investigation said at least one attacker was armed with a shiv, or homemade knife.

Maire, 40, of Binghamton, New York, a well-educated co-founder of a computer graphics company, and Figura were assaulted in what is believed to be a targeted stabbing attack by fellow inmates at Milan, sources previously told The News.

The assault happened less than one month after Maire was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison. Figura was sentenced to 31 1/4 years in prison.

Lawyers for both men declined to comment Wednesday.

Teen victims confront sex ring members

The two men were confronted by several victims during an emotional sentencing hearing, including one who foreshadowed the attack on Maire.

"That's basically life," one victim said outside court. "And he's gonna get the hell beat out of him."

Federal officials have not revealed details surrounding the attack.

In addition to the injured inmates, two staff members sustained minor injuries trying to break up the fight, officials said.

Matthew Ritzman, president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 1741, the union representing correctional officers at Milan prison, voiced concerns about labor shortages at the facility.

"The union remains concerned about staffing levels at our federal prisons. The union has, and will continue to, ask for additional staff and resources in Milan's Federal Detention Center," Ritzman wrote in an email to The News. "This is important to ensure our staff can most safely carry out their difficult mission."

The attack happened several days into the ongoing government shutdown, which has exacerbated safety concerns at the nation's federal prisons, Ritzman said.

"The government shutdown is a safety issue for our union members and the community at large," he wrote.

Members of the sex ring posted as teenage boys on social media websites to lure preteen and teenage girls to a private online chatroom, where more than 100 victims were manipulated into stripping, masturbating and performing other sex acts.

According to prosecutors, Maire handpicked members of the ring, known as the "Bored Group," who shared computer skills and sexual interest in girls ranging from infants to teens.

During the emotional hearing last month, Maire disputed the government's contention that he was the group's mastermind.

"I've shattered so many lives," Maire told U.S. District Judge Stephen Murphy. "I never thought I could sink this low. I apologize to all of my victims. I took advantage of your youth, and trust and put my own selfishness above your dignity." 

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