U.S. Attorney's Office
Southern District of Indiana
(317) 226-6333
August 13, 2014

Registered Convicted Sex Offender Found Guilty of Attempted Production of Child Pornography and Traveling to Engage in Sex with a Minor

INDIANAPOLIS—A sixty-five-year-old registered sex offender, with two prior convictions relating to possession of child pornography and attempted sexual conduct with minors, was found guilty today by U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson of attempting to produce child pornography, travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, transporting child pornography, possessing child pornography, and offense by a registered sex offender, announced Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell and Josh Minkler, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana.

According to the evidence introduced at trial, the defendant, John Alan Lewis, met an individual he believed to be a 14-year-old online in November 2011. From November 2011 until May of 2012, Lewis sent and received numerous images depicting a minor under the age of twelve engaging in sexually explicit conduct via e-mails with this individual, who actually was an adult male registered sex offender living in Queens, New York. Following the arrest of the individual in the Eastern District of New York, in August of 2012, law enforcement assumed this individual’s online identity and engaged in a series of online chats where the defendant expressed his desire to travel from Ohio to Indiana, pick the 14-year-old up, and take her to a motel to engage in sexual acts with her.

On September 19, 2012, the defendant rented a car in Lima, Ohio and drove to Plainfield, Indiana. He was arrested when he arrived at the agreed upon meeting location. The defendant had in his possession three electronic devices, each of which contained images depicting a minor, between the ages of 10 and 12, fully nude and engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

Lewis has been in federal custody since he was arrested in September of 2012. Given the defendant’s criminal history, Attempted Sexual Exploitation of Children carries a mandatory minimum of 35 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. A sentencing date for Lewis has not been set.

“The most vulnerable citizens in our communities deserve the best protection we can provide,” said Acting United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler. “Fighting against sexual predators remains a top priority in our office.”

The case is being prosecuted by Criminal Division Trial Attorney Amy E. Larson of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and Senior Litigation Counsel Steven D. DeBrota of the Southern District of Indiana. The investigation was conducted by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Cyber Crime Unit, the Indiana State Police Cyber Crime Unit, the Federal Bureau of Investigation Violent Crimes Against Children Section and the Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which is made up of federal and state law enforcement agencies.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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