David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that Steven Donald Lewis, 23, of Plainville, waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty today before United States Magistrate Judge Thomas P. Smith in Hartford to one count of receipt of child pornography.
According to court documents and statements made in court, on November 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 December 8, 2010, Lewis was arrested at his dormitory residence at the University of Connecticut. On that date, law enforcement agents also seized Lewis’ 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 is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant on November 1, 2012, at which time Lewis faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years, a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, and a fine of up to $250,000.
Lewis has been released on bond under supervision of the United States Probation Office since shortly after his arrest.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the United States Secret Service; and the Connecticut Computer Crimes Task Force, which includes federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys David E. Novick and Sarala V. Nagala.
This prosecution is 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.
The Connecticut Computer Crimes Task Force, which is housed at the main FBI office in New Haven, investigates crimes occurring over the Internet, including online crimes against children, and provides computer forensic review services for participating agencies. For more information about the Task Force, or to report child exploitation crimes, please contact the FBI at 203-777-6311.
To report cases of child exploitation, please visit www.cybertipline.com.