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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Indiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Jury Finds Lafayette Man Guilty Of Producing and Distributing Child Pornography

SOUTH BEND – Shawn M. Dewitt, 34 years old, of Lafayette, Indiana, was found guilty of production, possession and distribution of child pornography after a three-day jury trial before U.S. District Court Judge Jon E. DeGuilio, announced U. S. Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II.

According to documents in this case, on November 26, 2017, Dewitt responded to an advertisement posted on an online social networking forum which was posted by an undercover FBI task force agent in Washington DC, who was familiar with child exploitation investigations.  In chatting with the undercover agent, Dewitt expressed a sexual interest in children and also informed the agent that he had access to two children for sexual purposes.  Dewitt sent the undercover agent videos and images of child pornography and also asked the undercover officer to send him videos of sexual acts with the undercover agent’s fictional 9 year old daughter.  The undercover agent sent an emergency referral to the Lafayette FBI office on November 27, 2017.   Officers from the Lafayette police department and FBI agents conducted a search the next day and arrested Dewitt. 

U.S. Attorney Thomas Kirsch II says, “This case demonstrates how rapidly the FBI and local law enforcement will respond in investigations where a child is at risk.  Children are the most vulnerable victims and our office and law enforcement partners will do everything we can to protect them from exploitation.”

Dewitt will be sentenced on February 7, 2019.  Because Dewitt was convicted of producing child pornography, by statute he must be sentenced to at least fifteen years’ incarceration.  The judge will determine the sentence after considering the United States Sentencing Guidelines and sentencing statutes.  

The case was investigated by the FBI and the Lafayette Police Department and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John M. Maciejczyk.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated February 6, 2019