San Diego, California - FBI Special Agent in Charge Daphne Hearn is announcing the arrest of Michael William Lutts, age 50, of San Diego, California, last Tuesday.
On Tuesday, August 26, 2014, Michael Williams Lutts, was arrested by FBI agents at his residence concurrent with the execution of a federal search warrant. Following his arrest, Lutts was transported by FBI agents to the San Diego FBI Field Office, where he was fingerprinted and photographed.
On Wednesday, August 27, 2014, a federal complaint was filed by an FBI special agent with the United States District Court, Southern District of California, case number 14MJ2961. This complaint charged Lutts with violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2251(a),(e), sexual exploitation of a child.
According to the complaint, in April 2014, the FBI obtained and executed a federal search warrant on an e-mail address owned and operated by an individual who was distributing child pornography images. A review of this individual’s e-mail account identified Michael William Lutts of San Diego, California, as an account that had sent child pornography images to this individual.
Further investigation by FBI agents revealed Lutts was a foster parent and a pediatric nurse working in San Diego County. On August 4, 2014, a 2-month-old foster baby was placed in Lutts’ residence after being prematurely born.
FBI agents working with the United States Attorney’s Office obtained a search warrant for Lutts’ residence. This search warrant was executed on Tuesday, August 26, 2014. During the execution of the search warrant, FBI agents seized numerous computers, hard drives, several hundred CDs, and other media items. An initial onsite review of this media revealed several hundred images and videos depicting child pornography.
According to the complaint, during the search, FBI agents reviewed a cell phone seized during the search. The cell phone contained numerous images and videos of Lutts sexually molesting the 2-month-old infant that was recently placed in his care. The images and videos appeared to be taken inside of Lutts’ residence beginning on August 4, 2014, the very first day he gained custody of the infant.
The complaint alleges that the video and images were graphic in nature and depicted Lutts engaged in various acts of sexual molestation of the child with the baby crying throughout one video. The images and videos captured repeated acts of sexual molestation over several weeks.
On Wednesday, August 27, 2014, Lutts had his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jill Burkhardt. During his court appearance Lutts was advised of the charges filed against him and appointed counsel to represent him. Lutts is next scheduled to appear in federal court on Friday, August 29, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. Lutts remains in custody at the Bureau of Prisons, Metropolitan Correctional Center.
Because of the circumstances involving this investigation, to include Lutts’ occupation as a pediatric nurse, the FBI is seeking the public’s assistance to identify other potential victims. If you, or someone you know, believe you have been a victim, please contact the FBI at telephone number (858) 320-1800.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney, Alessandra Serano, of the United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of California, San Diego, California.
An arrest itself is not evidence that the defendant committed crimes charged. The defendant is presumed innocent until the government meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.