Former Survivor contestant Mike Skupin arrested for possession of child pornography
Former Survivor: The Australian Outback and Survivor: Philippines contestant Mike Skupin has been arrested for possession of child pornography found on his personal computer during a search stemming from investigation into illegal business activities.
Skupin had been in hot water with investors into his business Pay It Forward, which turned out to be a Ponzi scheme. He was confronted by an investigative reporter in his native Michigan in December, 2013, after people claimed he was not delivering on promises made.
Skupin was arrested and booked into the Oakland County Jail on five counts of larceny, one count of racketeering, and six counts of possession of child pornography.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said in a statement, “Not only did this man rob people of their hard earned savings with his financial scams but he victimized innocent children every time he looked at a piece of child pornography. This man seems to have no concept or caring for right and wrong and will be prosecuted under the full extent of the law for these horrific crimes.”
Skupin had previously been arrested in February, 2013 for driving on a suspended license.
He is the father of seven children with his wife, Karen. His official website makes numerous references to his religious beliefs and practices and he is known as an outspoken Christian.
Interestingly, the “Life” page of Skupin’s official website opens with the following:
“Imagine being 4 years old and having your hero-your father, hold you in his arms (for the last time, though you are not aware of it) and hear him say, with tears in his eyes: “Son, I’m going away now- maybe for a very long time. I want you to always remember how much Daddy loves you. Now listen to me, son. I want you to be real good and obey your mother- will you promise to do that for Daddy?””
UPDATE: Skupin has issued a statement and says it is the only statement that will be made during the pending legal case…
I’m not even sure what to say. I’m more shocked by this than anyone.
Sadly, our media doesn’t subscribe to ‘innocent until proven.’ I truly am prayerfully optimistic in our justice system and will fight this with all that I am. Thank you to those who continue to believe in me. I am the guy that you think that I am.
There are scores of people that have been wrongfully accused at some point in their life – including our Savior. I’m leaning on Him in faith to walk beside me through this darkness and staying strong for all of those people.
Thank you for all of your messages of love and support. You have no idea what they have meant to me and my family.
My whole life has been kids: my kids, my family and anyone who ever needed help in any way. I’ve traveled the globe working with millions of kids both one-on-one, at schools, camps and assemblies. I’ve coached over 60 seasons of youth sports. I have never, ever hurt a child in any way – not as alleged and not ever.
I’m trusting in justice, trusting in our God and continuing to love everyone as God has instructed us. I have faith that despite this difficult time, there are brighter days ahead.
“Whatsoever you do, to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me.”