‘Survivor’ contestant Michael Skupin says he is ‘deeply sorry’ for child porn

‘Survivor’ contestant Michael Skupin says he is ‘deeply sorry’
By @garima_satija on
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Michael Skupin of White Lake, Michigan, one of the contestants from the CBS television network reality series "Survivor The Australian Outback" shows off his hands which he burned on the program in Australia, after the series finale May 3, 2001 in Los Angeles. Reuters

Former “Survivor” contestant Michael Skupin, who was accused of possessing child pornography, has been sentenced to at least one year of prison for possessing child pornography.

The TV star appeared in the Oakland County court in suburban Detroit on Tuesday. Before being sentenced for possessing child pornography, Skupin asked for mercy from the judge and said that he is “deeply sorry.” However, he denied downloading the photos on his laptop.

In December 2013, WJBK newscaster Rob Wolchek alleged that the former “Survivor” contestant did not pay the promised dividends to his investors under a Ponzi scheme of his business called Pay It Forward. In February 2016, he was arrested after being charged with five counts of larceny by conversion along with one count of racketeering.

Furthermore, images of child pornography were discovered in Michael Skupin’s laptop during police investigation after which he was charged with six counts of possessing child pornography. In November, he was convicted under four out of the six counts.

He has now been sentenced for at least one year of prison for possession of child pornography and has been placed on four years of probation. Moreover, the court has ordered him to pay US$31,800 (AU$ 44,069) in restitution to the victims of the financial scheme. He can be kept in prison for up to four years. He will be eligible for parole after a year in prison.

Michael Skupin participated in “Survivor II: The Australian Outback” in 2000. He was the first ever contestant on the show to be eliminated on medical grounds after falling hands-first into campfire. In 2012, he returned to the “Survivor: Philippines” along with two other medical evacuees, namely Jonathan Penner ("Survivor: Micronesia") and Russell Swan ("Survivor: Samoa").