U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that BENIAIH LEWIS, age 26, of New Orleans, was charged today in a one count Indictment for failure to register as a sex offender in violation of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.
According to court records, LEWIS was convicted of Possession of Child Pornography in violation of California Penal Code Section 311.11(a) on October 3, 2012, and, because of his conviction, LEWIS was required to register as a sex offender for life pursuant to the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act. LEWIS completed his last known sex offender registration form with the Fresno Police Department in California in 2013. According to today’s indictment, at some time after August 2013, LEWIS moved from California to Louisiana and failed to notify law enforcement authorities of his move to Louisiana.
If convicted of the failure to register charge, LEWIS faces a maximum term of imprisonment of ten years, a fine of $250,000 and up to three years of supervised release.U. S. Attorney Polite reiterated that the Indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
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 United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (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.
U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of the U. S. Department of Homeland Security-HSI, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Fresno California Police Department in investigating this matter. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Project Safe Childhood Coordinator and Fraud Unit Chief, Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian M. Klebba.