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Child Exploitation
08/21/2008

Former Wharton School of Business professor charged with additional sex offenses

Superseding Indictment alleges abuse of minor for purposes of making visual images

PHILADELPHIA - Acting U.S. Attorney Laurie Magid today announced the filing of a superseding indictment which charges Lawrence Scott Ward, 65 with two counts of inducing a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct to produce a visual image. These charges are in addition to the two counts of transporting and shipping child pornography, and one count of making false statements to the U.S. State Department charged in the original indictment filed in March 2008.

Ward was an Emeritus Professor of Marketing at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business at the time of the crimes. The March 2008 indictment charged him with shipping videos of himself engaged in sexual activity with a 16-year-old boy, and sexually explicit images of the boy, in interstate and foreign commerce.

"Working with our partners in the U.S. Attorney's office, ICE must ensure that child sex predators are held accountable for their terrible exploitation of innocent young victims, and that they pay a high price for their criminal actions," said John P. Kelleghan, special agent in charge of the ICE office of investigations in Philadelphia.

The superseding indictment adds counts of inducing that 16-year-old boy to engage in the sexual activity that Ward depicted in the video and photographs. It is further alleged that Ward used his position as an Emeritus Professor at Wharton in his attempt to secure a visa for the boy from the U.S. State Department's Consulate General in Recife, Brazil, to bring the victim to the United States. According to the indictment, Ward, in his efforts to bring the boy to the United States, falsely asserted that he knew the boy's family and that they were wealthy, in order to dispel fears that the boy was poor and would become an illegal immigrant.

"It is difficult to comprehend the injury that one person could inflict on a child for his own depraved pleasure. As the indictment alleges, this defendant exploited his stature, as a renowned professor at an Ivy League school, in an attempt to further this horrendous crime," said Magid. "The law does not care who you are, only what you have done."

The March 2008 indictment charges that in early August 2006, the defendant sent a package of six DVDs by Federal Express from Maui, Hawaii, to his office at the University of Pennsylvania, each containing a video of Ward having sex with the victim on different occasions.

The indictment also alleges that later the same month, Ward sent another package with sexually explicit photographs of the victim to his office. The superseding indictment charges that from January 31, 2006 through July 8, 2006, Ward used his University of Pennsylvania e-mail account to induce and entice the boy into engaging in sexual conduct for the purpose of producing visual depictions of that conduct.

If convicted, the defendant faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years for the enticement charge. The case was investigated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Bea L. Witzleben.