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Justice News

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

Friday, February 13, 2015

Westerville Youth Coach Pleads Guilty To Creating Child Pornography

COLUMBUS – Bryan W. Lehman, 50, of Westerville, Ohio pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to creating child pornography.

Carter M. Stewart, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Marlon V. Miller, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott, Westerville Police Chief Joseph Morbitzer and members of the Franklin County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force announced the plea entered into today before Algenon L. Marbley.

According to court documents, investigators searched Lehman’s home after the IP address registered to Lehman was identified as a candidate for downloading child pornography. Upon executing their search warrant, investigators discovered an external hard drive containing numerous images of child pornography and child erotica.

Furthermore, a search of Lehman’s computers revealed approximately 25 homemade videos and 35 images of a minor female in various stages of undress.  Lehman admitted to officers that the minor female was a relative and that he had used a cell phone attached to his belt to record the child – who he estimated was approximately 5-years-old at the time – without her knowledge.

A full forensic examination of Lehman’s hard drive revealed approximately 300 files of child pornography and approximately 600 files of child erotica.

Production of child pornography is punishable by a range of 15 to 30 years in prison.

Lehman served as a volunteer coach for the Westerville Youth Baseball and Softball League in the spring of 2014.

The Franklin County ICAC Task Force is a multi-agency effort dedicated to the fight against computer facilitated crimes against children. The following agencies are members:

Franklin County Sheriff’s Office    Upper Arlington Police Department
Grove City Police Department  Columbus Police Department
Grandview Heights Police Department Whitehall Police Department
Hilliard Police Department Westerville Police Department
Homeland Security Investigations U.S. Secret Service
Ohio ICAC  Franklin County Prosecutor's Office

This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorney's 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 as well as to identify and rescue victims.

U.S. Attorney Stewart commended the members of the ICAC Task Force for the cooperative investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather Hill and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Rausch, who are representing the United States in this case.

Updated July 23, 2015