Woodford County man gets more than eight years for child pornography

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WOODFORD COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – UIn what a federal judge called a “lenient” sentence, a 43-year-old Woodford County man gets 92 months in prison for transporting child pornography.

The sentence was near the mid-range of the 87 to 108-month range outlined in federal sentencing guidelines that applied to Don Carlos Lewis III, an Army veteran who was arrested in June 2019 after state and federal investigators received a tip from a national pornography tracking group about his activities.

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During a 30-minutes sentencing hearing Friday morning before U.S. District Judge Karen Kay Caldwell, an emotional Lewis took responsibility for his crime and asked for mercy.

“I will never be able to fully amend for my crime,” Lewis told the judge, “…But I can every day turn to Christ for forgiveness of my sins.

“I ask for your mercy but accept my punishment in peace,” he concluded.

His attorney, Andrew Sparks, noted Lewis suffered sexual abuse as an adolescent and teen but noted Lewis “accepts full responsibility for his offenses..”

“It’s not an excuse,” the attorney added, noting Lewis is “an addict” who previously has gotten help for alcoholism.

Lewis’ presentence report outlined his military service and work history, which prosecutors called “a positive.” But it also outlined “disturbing” facts about fantasies Lewis had involving children.

Caldwell, in handing down the sentence, credited Lewis with living for “the most part a positive life.”

She acknowledged that at a young age he “suffered traumatic and horrific abuse” which “contributed” to his later addictions and offenses.

But she also noted even viewing child pornography harms the children involved “every time it is viewed or shared.”

In addition to 92 months in prison, he was ordered to pay $5,100 in special assessments. He must register as a sex offender and sped 20 years on supervised probation while meeting a variety of standards and conditions.

Lewis originally was arrested on state charges in June 2019. He then was indicted on federal charges and those charges were replaced by a superseding “information” agreement earlier this year that included Lewis’ plea deal.

He also forfeits the computers, cell phones and other items seized when he was arrested.