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Lauderdale County man arrested for sex abuse of an 8-year-old

The suspect was taken to the Lauderdale County Detention Center.

Posted: Jan. 17, 2019 10:13 AM
Updated: Jan. 17, 2019 5:46 PM

On Wednesday, One Place of the Shoals investigators arrested Michael Tays, 32, for first degree sodomy, abuse of a child younger than 12, production of obscene matter and possession of child pornography.

Investigators tell WAAY 31 Tays was periodically living with a family friend who has an 8-year-old child. On Wednesday, the family friend went to use Tays' cellphone to make a call when she found a video of her 8-year-old child performing oral sex on him. The friend confronted Tays who then left the residence on Woodland Hills Drive.

Tays was walking along the roadway when the friend pulled up and asked him to give her details of the abuse. She drove him to the St. Florian Police Department.

Tays gave police permission to search his phone and that’s when they found more inappropriate photographs of the 8-year-old child. St. Florian Police then called in One Place of the Shoals investigators to take over the case because of the amount of material on the phone.

One Place investigators interviewed Tays and say he admitted to the crimes. They also did a forensic interview with the child Wednesday night.

“It was a very graphic video of the child being sexually molested,” said Brad Potts, Lauderdale County investigator.

Investigators say more charges are possible, because they are still searching Tays' cellphone. Tays was taken to the Lauderdale County Detention Center. He’s being held on a $250,000 bond. Tays has asked for a court-appointed attorney. He will have a bond hearing on Jan. 28.

Teresa Nowell lives on Woodland Hills Drive and says she is glad Tays is off the streets.

“I think it took a lot of strength and I think she did the right thing,” Tays said. “I just want her to know that the community is behind her and she (did) what she had to do to protect her child and we get that and were thankful she did.”

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