University of Connecticut Student Arrested on Child Pornography Charges
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 08, 2010|
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Kimberly K. Mertz, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced that STEVEN DONALD LEWIS, 21, of Plainville, was arrested today by members of the Connecticut Computer Crimes Task Force on a federal criminal complaint charging LEWIS with possession of child pornography and receipt and distribution of child pornography.
The criminal complaint alleges that, on November 9, 2010, a Bristol Police Department detective assigned to the FBI’s Computer Crime Task Force in New Haven logged into a publically available Internet file-sharing program and downloaded 34 images of child pornography from a shared directory maintained by LEWIS.
LEWIS was arrested this morning at his dormitory residence at the University of Connecticut, where he is a student. Law enforcement agents also seized LEWIS’ laptop computer.
Following his arrest, LEWIS appeared before United States Magistrate Judge Thomas P. Smith in Hartford and was released on a $100,000 bond co-signed by a family member with whom LEWIS will now reside.
If convicted of the charge of possession of child pornography, LEWIS faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000. If convicted of the charge of receipt and distribution of child pornography, LEWIS faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years, and a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000.
U.S. Attorney Fein stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Connecticut Computer Crimes Task Force, which includes federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, including the Bristol Police Department. The University of Connecticut Police Department and the Connecticut State Police have provided valuable assistance to the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Deborah R. Slater.
The Connecticut Computer Crimes Task Force investigates crimes occurring over the Internet, including computer intrusion, Internet fraud, copyright violations, Internet threats and harassment, and online crimes against children. The Task Force also provides computer forensic review services for participating agencies. The Task Force is housed in the main FBI office in New Haven, Connecticut. For more information about the Task Force, please contact the FBI at 203-777-6311.
U.S. Attorney Fein noted that this prosecution is part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood Initiative, which is aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
To report cases of child exploitation, please visit www.cybertipline.com.