U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Ohio
(216) 622-3600
May 6, 2015

Leetonia Man Charged with Sexually Exploiting Minors

Lucas J. Ippolito, 51, of Leetonia, Ohio, was charged with transportation of a minor to engage in illegal sex, sexual exploitation of a child and receipt, distribution and possession of sexually exploitive visual depictions of minors, said Steven M. Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

The indictment charges that on or about January 23, 2015, Ippolito knowingly transported an individual who had not attained the age of 18 years, that is a 15-year-old girl, in interstate commerce from Pennsylvania to Ohio, with the intent that such 15-year-old girl engage in sexual activity for which Ippolito could be charged with a criminal offense.

The indictment also charges that on or about on or about February 14, 2015, March 14, 2015 and April 3, 2015, Ippolito knowingly transported an individual who had not attained the age of 18 years, that is a 13-year-old girl, in interstate commerce from Pennsylvania to Ohio, with the intent that such 13-year-old girl engage in sexual activity for which he could be charged with a criminal offense.

The indictment also charges that between December 3, 2014 and March 9, 2015, Ippolito persuaded, induced, enticed and coerced the two minors to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct.

The indictment also charges that from on or about January 6, 2015, through on or about April 7, 2015, Ippolito knowingly received and distributed, using any means and facility of interstate and foreign commerce, numerous computer files, which files contained visual depictions of real minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Lastly, the indictment charges that on or about March 30, 2015, Ippolito knowingly possessed three computers and a cellular phone, each containing child pornography, and at least one image involved in the offense involved a prepubescent minor or a minor who had not attained 12 years of age.

If convicted, the sentence in this case will be determined by the court after consideration of the federal sentencing guidelines which depend upon a number of factors unique to each case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the unique characteristics of the violation. In all cases the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael A. Sullivan. The case was investigated by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Youngstown office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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