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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Georgia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Woman admits tampering with witness in child sexual coercion case

Guilty plea could bring up to 20 years in prison

SAVANNAH, GA:  A Bryan County woman admitted in federal court to attempting to persuade a victim to recant allegations that the woman’s husband had coerced a minor for sex.

Lori Wilson, a/k/a “Loretta Lightningbolt,” 35, pled guilty in U.S. District Court to Tampering with a Victim or Witness, said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. The charge carries a possible sentence of up to 20 years in prison, followed by up to five years of supervised release.

There is no parole in the federal system.

“The facts in this case are disturbing, especially when you consider the defendant relentlessly worked to persuade a minor victim to recant serious allegations of sexual misconduct by an adult,” said U.S. Attorney Christine. “But we will be even more relentless in pursuing justice for vulnerable victims of child predators.”

Wilson’s husband, Michael Wilson, 37, is charged in the Southern District of Georgia with one count each of Coercion and Enticement of a Minor to Engage in Sexual Activity, and Attempted Coercion and Enticement of a Minor to Engage in Sexual Activity, and currently is awaiting trial. According to court documents and testimony, Michael Wilson is accused of attempting to coerce a minor victim to engage in sexual activity from 2017 through early 2019.  Additionally, Michael Wilson is charged with seven violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Article 120(b), Rape and Sexual Assault of a Child. These charges relate to multiple minor victims.

After the minors reported the information to authorities, Lori Wilson admitted intimidating and persuading one of the victims to withhold information from authorities, trying to persuade the victim that the minor’s experiences were “psychic visions” or “dreams,” and to communicate false information to agents of the Army Criminal Investigation Command, among others.

“This defendant tried to manipulate a child from telling the truth about being sexually victimized by another adult,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “No sentence can wipe away the scars those actions left on this child, but hopefully it will send a message to anyone who contemplates preying on our most vulnerable citizens.”

The cases are being investigated by the FBI and by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, and prosecuted for the United States by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Katelyn Semales and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer G. Solari.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Contact: 
Barry L. Paschal, Public Affairs Officer: 912-652-4422
Press Release Number: 
72-20
Updated July 15, 2020