SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A pediatric nurse pleaded guilty in San Diego Thursday to sexually exploiting a 2-month-old premature male foster child he'd brought home and an 11-month-old female patient at Kaiser Permanente who'd been placed in his care.
Michael William Lutts, 50, pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a minor and distribution of child pornography. He faces up to 80 years in federal prison at a sentencing hearing April 20 and has agreed to forfeit his College area home where most of the crimes occurred, prosecutors said.
"This is a deeply disturbing case," said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy. "We will do everything in our power to protect our precious, defenseless children from sexual abuse and exploitation, especially at the hands of caregivers who are supposed to keep them safe."
According to his plea agreement, Lutts admitted to 15 instances last July and August in which he photographed and videotaped the infants in sexually explicit situations at both his home and workplace. In one image, the defendant photographed his own exposed genitals beside the 2-month-old boy, who was still wearing his hospital bracelet.
In some of the images and videos, the baby is crying as Lutts sexually abuses him. Lutts also admitted emailing sexually explicit images of children to others, according to the plea agreement.
The investigation began last April when the FBI tracked down a person who was receiving images from Lutts' email account.