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Press Release

San Diego Man Charged with Sexual Exploitation of a Minor

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Iowa

DES MOINES, IA – On October 7, 2014, David Anthony Lavera, age 33, of San Diego, California, had his initial appearance and arraignment on federal child pornography charges in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, announced United States Attorney Nicholas A. Klinefeldt. Trial was set for December 1, 2014.

Lavera was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of knowingly producing child pornography, or sexual exploitation of a minor, as well as knowingly possessing child pornography. If convicted on the production/sexual exploitation charge, Lavera faces a sentence of no less than 15 and no more than 30 years in federal prison, plus between 5 years and a life term of supervised release. If convicted on the possession of child pornography charge, the potential punishment is up to 20 years in prison, and between 5 years and a life term of supervised release. Both crimes carry a maximum $250,000 fine as a potential punishment, as well.

Lavera was taken into federal custody on Monday, October 6, 2014 by the U.S. Marshals Service. At the court appearance, U.S. Magistrate Judge Ross Walters ordered Lavera to remain in federal custody pending trial.

An indictment is merely an accusation, and Lavera is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The case has been investigated by a team that includes agents with Homeland Security Investigations at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office, the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation, the Newton, Iowa, Police Department, and the Baxter, Iowa, Police Department.

The case is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa as part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Childhood” initiative, which was started in 2006 as a nation-wide effort to combine law enforcement investigations and prosecutions, community action, and public awareness in order to reduce the incidence of sexual exploitation of children.

Any persons having knowledge of a child being sexually abused are encouraged to call the Iowa Sexual Abuse Hotline at 1-800-284-7821.

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Updated April 13, 2015