DC gym owner arrested in FBI sting on charge related to child sex abuse images

Editor’s Note: This story contains disturbing language and details.

A D.C. gym owner is being held without bond after being arrested and charged Tuesday with distributing child sex abuse images, a federal crime, as part of a Federal Bureau of Investigation sting.

Michael Everts, 48, owns FIT Personal Training in Dupont Circle, according to the company’s website, which describes the business as “Dupont Circle’s oldest personal training gym in Washington, D.C.”

Everts came to the FBI’s attention when an employee for Sniffies — which charging documents describe as a meetup app for “gay, bisexual, and bicurious” men reported that an account user — Everts — was actively seeking underage males.

In late September 2023, an online covert employee, or OCE, for the FBI contacted Everts, using the Telegram app, posing as the father of a young boy.

Over a period of about three months, Everts exchanged images and discussed child sexual abuse with the OCE. Everts also sent photos of himself to the undercover agent, who compared them to Everts’ D.C. driver’s license and concluded the man pictured was Everts.

On Sept. 27, investigators said Everts forwarded four photographs of prepubescent boys, which appeared to be altered to show a child being abused by an adult male.

In early November, the FBI said Everts forwarded videos and voice memos, showing and discussing adult men sexually abusing children. On Nov. 14, Everts messaged the OCE, “Do you have 0 doubts that I’m an actual pedophile?” Everts then set the Telegram chat settings to “self-destruct” messages in one hour, and then sent a video of two boys engaging in sexual activity, court documents said.

After sending the video, Everts texted the undercover agent: “Now it’s 1000% verified. I’m a pedophile. I sent kiddie porn.” Everts explained that he set the chat to self-destruct “to protect us both.”

A week ago, on Nov. 27, the undercover agent asked Everts if the two could meet in person.

The FBI said Everts told the OCE he’d “have to think it thru. I sent kiddie porn to you, so I’m an already outed as a pedophile, so for me there’s that bit of risk.”

The next day, Nov. 28, Everts agreed to a meeting outside the Apple Store at 801 K St. NW, shortly after noon. Everts suggested the OCE send him an email or text requesting a consultation for a fitness training “to give us both an out/deniability if we panick (sic).”

At the prearranged time, the two met in front of the Apple Store, “and discussed Everts’ fitness business and then discussed their level of interest in pedophilia. During the course of this conversation, the OCE provided a hand signal to an arrest team and Everts was subsequently taken into custody by members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force,” according to the document.

During a brief court appearance Tuesday, Everts was ordered held without bond until a Dec. 4 detention hearing and was provided with a public defender.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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