Pediatric Nurse Pleads Guilty to Sexual Exploitation of Children in His Care
SAN DIEGO, CA—Michael William Lutts, a 50-year-old foster parent and pediatric nurse, pleaded guilty in federal court today to sexually exploiting a two-month-old premature boy and an 11-month-old girl who had been placed in his care last summer.
According to his plea agreement, Lutts admitted to 15 instances in July and August in which he photographed and videotaped the babies in sexually explicit situations at both his home and workplace. In one image, the defendant photographed his own exposed genitals beside the infant, who was still wearing his hospital bracelet. In some of the images and videos, the baby is crying as Lutts sexually abuses him. Lutts also admitted e-mailing sexually explicit images of children to others.
Lutts pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of distribution of child pornography before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jill L. Burkhardt. He faces up to 80 years in prison, and has agreed to forfeit his College area home where most of the crimes occurred.
“This is a deeply disturbing case,” said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy. “We will do everything in our power to protect our precious, defenseless children from sexual abuse and exploitation, especially at the hands of caregivers who are supposed to keep them safe.”
FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric S. Birnbaum commented, “Though the FBI conducts many types of criminal investigations, it is particularly disturbing when the victims are sexually exploited children or infants. When this type of sexual exploitation takes place, the FBI and our law enforcement partners will aggressively pursue those who would exploit and abuse children, and bring them to justice.”
Sentencing is scheduled for April 20, 2015 before U.S. District Judge John Houston.
Criminal Case No. 14CR2542-JAH
Michael William Lutts
Summary of Charges
Counts 1, 17: Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §2251(a) Maximum Penalties: Thirty years in prison, mandatory minimum 15 years per count.
Counts 16: Distribution of Child Pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §2252(a)(2) Maximum Penalties: Twenty years in prison, mandatory minimum five years.
Federal Bureau of Investigation