An Indiana man conspired with multiple women to send him sexually explicit photos over social media of infants and children, the Department of Justice said.
During trial, federal prosecutors presented evidence that Lorenzo Johnson, 33, of Hammond, Indaina, set up a fake Facebook account and then targeted women who were facing financial issues and had access to children.
“Johnson, a registered sex offender, offered those women money to take sexually explicit photos of minor children,” the DOJ said in a statement. “Johnson succeeded in persuading three co-conspirators to send him photos depicting the sexual abuse of infants and young children whom the co-conspirators knew.”
According to prosecutors, the women allegedly involved in the scheme were indicted for conspiring to produce child pornography.
Johnson was convicted of three counts of conspiracy to produce child pornography, one count of distribution of child pornography, and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
He faces at least 25 years behind bars and a maximum sentence of 180 years when he is scheduled to be sentenced in December.
“This verdict sends a strong message that people who sexually abuse young and helpless children — and those who memorialize and disseminate that abuse — will be held accountable,” Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. said. “The Department of Justice is committed to utilizing its resources to track down these offenders and rescue victims of pernicious sexual exploitation.”
Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan with the FBI’s Indianapolis Field Office said Johnson’s conviction shows the agency’s “sense of urgency to ensure there is one less predator victimizing our children.”
“Sexual predators who prey on the most vulnerable members of our society and believe they can elude federal law enforcement will be investigated, identified and will find themselves in prison,” Keenan noted.