Orlando Man Who Used Internet To Sexually Exploit 12-Year-Old Sentenced To Life In Prison

Orlando Man Who Used Internet To Sexually Exploit  12-Year-Old Sentenced To Life In Prison

Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Paul G. Byron has sentenced Andre Maurice Lewis (37, Orlando) to life in federal prison for enticement of a minor. The court also ordered Lewis to forfeit the cellphone he used to commit the offense. Lewis had pleaded guilty on August 15, 2022.

          According to court documents and information presented in court, in January 2021, Lewis initiated a Snapchat conversation with a 12-year-old child, the daughter of an acquaintance. Lewis did not reveal his true identity to the child and claimed to be 20 years old. 

Even though the child told Lewis how old she was, Lewis expressed an interest in meeting with her for sex. The child repeatedly rebuffed Lewis’s sexual advances, telling him that he was making her uncomfortable and that she was “just a little girl.” As Lewis persisted, the child sent Lewis a series of text-based and audio messages that made it clear that she was very scared and distressed. In those messages, the child pleaded with Lewis to leave her alone, because she did not want to do the things he asked her to do. Nevertheless, Lewis continued to press the child and threatened to tell the child’s parent about their Snapchat conversation unless the child did as Lewis said. Lewis provided evidence that he knew the child’s parent, to underscore his ability to carry out his threats. Later in the evening, out of fear, the child livestreamed a sexually explicit video of herself at Lewis’s behest.

The investigation revealed that Lewis had previously communicated about sex with dozens of individuals who told him they were minors – and the investigation confirmed that many of these individuals were indeed minors. With respect to seven individuals who specifically told Lewis to leave them alone, Lewis responded by threatening to kidnap, rape, and kill them if they did not cooperate. In other instances, Lewis accompanied such threats to minors with a picture of a handgun and magazines, and a map of the minors’ location, to prove that he actually knew where they were. Lewis also has a prior conviction for issuing written threats to kill or do bodily injury.

This case was investigated by the Orlando Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and the United States Secret Service. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Emily C. L. Chang.

This is another case 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 www.justice.gov/psc.

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