A federal jury on Oct. 8 convicted a Bluemont man of producing and distributing child pornography.
Kevin Hewlett, 34, faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years when sentenced in February.
Prosecutors say Hewlett was working as a farrier for a 16-year-old girl’s horses in Loudoun County prior to incident. A farrier trims and shoes horses’ hooves. In August 2018, Hewlett recorded himself engaged in sexually explicit conduct with the minor in his bedroom, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. These acts followed communication between the two through text messages and social media apps.
Then, in January 2019, Hewlett distributed the sexually explicit video of himself with the minor via Instagram.
A federal grand jury indicted Hewlett on the charges in March after the case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (Justice.gov/PSC), a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse.
The case was investigated by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI Washington Field Office’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, which is made up of FBI agents and local, state and federal partners.
G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Robert E. Bornstein, acting special agent in charge of the FBI Washington Field Office Criminal Division, made the announcement after Senior U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III accepted the verdict. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathaniel Smith III and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Gwendelynn Bills are prosecuting the case.