POCATELLO – Special Agent in Charge Brad Bench of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Seattle Field Office and U.S. Attorney Bart M. Davis announced today 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. During a second phase of the trial, the jury convicted Goodwin 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, 2019 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 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.
Sentencing is set for August 12, 2019. Each of the five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor is punishable by at least 15 and up to 30 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000, and at least five years up to lifetime of supervised release. The charge of transportation of child pornography is punishable by at least 5 and up to 20 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000, and at least five years up to lifetime of supervised release. The charge of possession of child pornography is punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000, and at least five years up to lifetime of supervised release. The sentencing enhancement carries a mandatory minimum of 10 years imprisonment to be served consecutively to the other counts.
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 HSI’s child exploitation mission, please visit https://www.ice.gov/predator.
For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc.
For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”