Multnomah County judge sentences former Disney vice president to nearly 7 years in prison for child sex abuse
Updated Jun 17, 2019; Posted Jun 14, 2019
A former Disney executive was sentenced Friday to nearly seven years in prison for sexually abusing a girl in Portland a decade ago, when the girl was 7 years old.
Michael Laney, 73, will serve 81 months for four counts of first-degree sexual abuse. Judge Benjamin Souede had previously acquitted Laney of three counts of first-degree rape and three counts of first-degree sex abuse.
Laney’s attorneys, Stephen Houze and Jacob Houze, on Thursday asked the court to postpone enforcing any part of his sentence that would send him into custody while Laney appealed part of the sentence. In a supporting statement, Jacob Houze said the claims against Laney were contradictory and inconsistent, and that there was no physical evidence.
“The character of the evidence is just stories, and the strength of those stories is exceedingly low,” Houze wrote in a statement.
Laney’s attorneys also cited some of Laney’s personal circumstances, noting that he is the caretaker for his wife, who has Parkinson’s disease.
“Sentencing Mr. Laney to any amount of incarceration, much less an actuarial true life sentence, disproportionately impacts him more than a defendant without those personal characteristics,” they said in a statement.
Laney’s wife’s doctor, Blain Crandell, submitted a letter on Laney’s behalf, saying his wife “could be expected to suffer serious consequences to her health and well-being” without an in-home caregiver, a role her husband had been filling.
In a response to Houze’s statement, Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Charles Mickley called the claims “peculiarly offensive and insulting.”
“Defendant wholly ignores the compelling evidence of his guilt presented at trial, including the evidence of his longstanding sexual interest in children,” Mickley wrote.
Laney was also sentenced to 120 months of post-prison supervision, minus time served, and was ordered to pay a $4,000 fine.
Court documents state that Laney is a resident of Bainbridge Island, Washington.