News From Terre Haute, Indiana

January 14, 2014

Man gets 10-year sentence for possessing child porn

Tribune-Star staff report
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — A Terre Haute man has received a 10-year prison sentence after admitting in federal court that he possessed child pornography.

Chris A. Lowery, 47, was sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Judge William T. Lawrence to 10 years in federal prison.

According to court documents, police began investigating Lowery in May 2012. A search warrant revealed Lowery to be in possession of an extensive child pornography collection, including images and videos showing the abuse of children as young as age 5.

Investigators identified more than 1,000 images depicting child exploitation in Lowery’s possession, and the total collection exceeded 20,000 images.

Police have seized all computers and other electronic devices associated with Lowery’s criminal activity.

Lowery was ordered to serve 10 years supervised release at the end of his prison term. Under federal law, he must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence within a federal correctional facility.

U.S. Attorney Joseph H. Hogsett said the sentencing decision represented more local results for Operation Community Watch, an effort that aims to reduce the abuse of Hoosier children through innovative investigation and aggressive prosecution.

“This defendant learned what so many other criminals have learned since the launch of Operation Community Watch – you are not anonymous online,” Hogsett said. “If you engage in the exploitation of children, online or offline, you will be identified and you will face the full weight of federal law.”

In this case, Operation Community Watch’s efforts were facilitated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Indiana State Police, the Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce, along with Terre Haute and Vigo County law enforcement.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide Department of Justice initiative to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse. Hogsett pointed out that in the last Project Safe Childhood reporting year, 52 people were prosecuted, an increase of 37 percent more than the prior year; 49 defendants were convicted and sentenced. These are all-time records for the U.S. Attorney’s.

Also during the last year, the U.S. Attorney’s office successfully identified more than 120 child victims, including minors in Indiana, other states, Canada, Switzerland, and other countries.