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Press Release

Brownsville Man Pleads Guilty to Possessing Material Depicting Sexual Exploitation of a Minor

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH, PA – A resident of Brownsville, Pennsylvania, has pleaded guilty to possessing material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor.

Karl Lutes, age 52, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Cathy Bissoon.

According to information presented to the court during the guilty plea hearing, on or about February 11, 2020, agents of Homeland Security Investigations executed a search warrant at Lutes’s residence and found him in possession of videos and still images in computer graphics files depicting the sexual exploitation of minors, some of whom had not yet attained the age of 12 years.

Judge Bissoon scheduled sentencing for August 21, 2023. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Lutes will remain on bond pending sentencing.

Assistant United States Attorney Carolyn J. Bloch prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals, who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Updated May 3, 2023

Project Safe Childhood