Local man convicted of producing child pornography involving 16-month-old

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The following is a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho.

POCATELLO — U.S. Attorney Bart M. Davis announced that a federal jury sitting in Pocatello returned guilty verdicts against Lex Bennett Goodwin, 34, on five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, transportation of child pornography and possession of child pornography.

Goodwin was also convicted of a sentencing enhancement for committing the crimes while he was already required to register as a sex offender. The trial began on May 20 and concluded Thursday evening when the jury returned their verdicts. The case was tried before Chief U.S. District Judge David C. Nye.

According to court records, the investigation began in September 2017 after Google reported that child pornography had been uploaded to a Google account. An agent with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) obtained a federal search warrant for the Google account, which revealed that the account belonged to Goodwin.

Within the account, the agent located several sexually explicit images of a sixteen-month-old child that Goodwin had produced. The agent obtained additional search warrants authorizing the search and seizure of Goodwin’s electronics, including his cellphone, and a second Google account belonging to Goodwin.

Additional files of the sixteen-month-old child that Goodwin had produced were located on his cellphone and in the second Google account. The investigation further revealed that Goodwin had attempted to produce sexually explicit images of a six-year-old child and that he had possessed and transported numerous other files of child pornography.

Each of the five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor is punishable by 15 to 30 years in prison. The charge of transportation of child pornography is punishable by 5 to 20 years in prison. The charge of possession of child pornography is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Each charge is also punishable by a fine of up to $250,000, and five years to a lifetime of supervised release. The sentencing enhancement carries a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison to be served consecutively to the other counts.

Sentencing is set for Aug. 12 before Judge Nye at the federal courthouse in Pocatello.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations in Idaho Falls and the Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

The 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. As part of Project Safe Childhood, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho and the Idaho Attorney General’s Office partner to marshal 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, visit www.usdoj.gov/psc.

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