Plainville resident Steven Donald Lewis is facing up to 20 years in federal prison after he waived his right to an indictment Monday, instead electing to enter a guilty plea to one count of receiving child pornography.
The case was initiated after Bristol police and members of the Connecticut Computer Crimes Task Force in New Haven were able to download 34 images allegedly uploaded to a sharing database by the 23-year-old. These images were shared throughout the region including Southington, officials with the U.S. Department of Justice said Monday.
According to reports from the Department of Justice, Lewis received thousands of images that were recovered on his computer during a search at his University of Connecticut dorm room in December 2010.
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From the U.S. Department of Justice:
According to court documents and statements made in court, on Nov. 9, 2010, a Bristol Police Department detective assigned to the Connecticut Computer Crimes Task Force in New Haven logged into a publicly available Internet file sharing program and downloaded 34 images of child pornography from a shared directory maintained by Lewis. On Dec. 8, 2010, Lewis was arrested at his dormitory residence at the University of Connecticut. On that date, law enforcement agents also seized Lewis’s laptop computer.
Analysis of the seized computer revealed thousands of images and videos of child pornography. Included in his collection of child pornography were images of children under the age of 12 engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Forensic review also revealed that Lewis distributed child pornography images and videos through the file-sharing program located on his computer.
Lewis will be sentenced on Nov. 1, 2012, according to court documents. He is facing up to a 20-year prison sentence – the charge requires at least a five year sentence – as well as fines up to, but not exceeding $250,000.
The investigation was part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood Initiative and the District of Connecticut’s “Operation Constant Vigilance,” which are aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation, officials said.
For more information about the Task Force, or to report child exploitation crimes, contact the FBI at (203) 777-6311. To report cases of child exploitation, visit www.cybertipline.com.
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