Oklahoma Man Sentenced for Transporting Minor for Sex

An Oklahoma man was sentenced in federal court last week on charges of transporting a minor for sex. Dennis Lewis, 41, of Tulsa was sentenced in the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska to 10 years in prison followed by 5 years of supervised release. Lewis, who was represented by the Federal Public Defender's Office, was found guilty of sexual exploitation of a juvenile (18 USC 2251[a]) and transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity (18 USC 2423 [A]). According to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Nebraska, Lewis had been communicating with a 14-year-old girl he met on Facebook for approximately a year. The communication increased in the spring, and much of the conversations between Lewis and the girl was sexual in nature. He sent her pictures of his genitalia and convinced her to send nude photos in return. Lewis then drove to Nebraska to pick up the girl and brought her back to his home in Tulsa. Tulsa police found the minor at Lewis's home and arrested the man before any sexual intercourse occurred between the man and his victim. [caption id="attachment_3679" align="alignleft" width="300"]Image Credit: U.S. Department of Justice Image Credit: U.S. Department of Justice[/caption] The case was prosecuted with the assistance of Project Safe Childhood, a United States Department of Justice initiative that focuses on preventing the sexual exploitation of children. Initially focused on protecting children from technology-assisted sexual exploitation, the Project has expanded to encompass all sexual exploitation of minors, including sex trafficking, transporting a minor for sex, sex crimes against children in Indian country, and failure to register as a sex offender. Project Safe Childhood relies on numerous federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and child protection organizations, including Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Forces, the FBI, and the Justice Department's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS). It is backed by numerous laws and Acts which are designed to prevent child exploitation, including the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act (AWA) and the Providing Resources, Officers, and Technology to Eradicate Cyber Threats to Our Children Act of 2008 (PROTECT Act). According to the United States Department of Justice, since 2007, Project Safe Childhood has led to more than 11,447 convictions, 61 of which given federal life sentences, which are ineligible for parole. In 2011, the United States Attorney's Offices obtained indictments against 2,929 defendants--an increase of 15 percent over 2007. Facing federal sex crimes charges is a serious matter. The federal government and its agencies do not take sex offenses against minors lightly. Child pornography, soliciting minors through technology, transporting a minor for sex, and sex tourism are but a few of the sex crimes over which the federal government may take jurisdiction. Learn more about federal sex crimes on our website. To speak with an attorney, submit the confidential case review form found here.