In recent weeks, Yavapai County Sheriff detectives developed information that 21-year-old Prescott Valley resident Christopher Lewis engaged in numerous sexual acts with females under the age of 18 while he was an adult – over age 18. Lewis had contacted the minors via Facebook and developed an online relationship which eventually led to direct contact and a sexual relationship. During the detective’s online investigation, Lewis sent a photo of his genitalia via Facebook to a female he believed was 14-years-of-age. Lewis has been charged with Aggravated Luring a Minor for Sexual Exploitation for this action.
As the investigation unfolded, Yavapai County Sheriff detectives tracked down 2 minor aged female victims unrelated to each other. Both are from the Prescott basin area and acknowledged a sexual relationship in the past with Lewis after he initiated a “friend” request via Facebook.
The first victim told detectives she first had online contact with Lewis when she was 14 years old. Right after her 15th birthday in 2013, she began dating Lewis and indicated he ‘pressured’ her to have sex with him. At the time they were ‘dating,’ Lewis told her parents he was 17 when in fact he was 19 years of age.
The second victim told detectives she began ‘dating’ Lewis in December of 2014 when she was 16 years of age. This led to an ongoing sexual relationship which ended in February of this year. Lewis had also sent pictures of his genitalia to this victim on occasion. Lewis was 20 years of age at the time.
After obtaining victim statements, detectives served a search warrant at Lewis’ Prescott Valley home on October 29th, 2015, to recover evidence such as computers and phones. Lewis was also arrested at that time and booked into the Camp Verde Detention Center on charges including 10 counts of Sexual Conduct with a Minor. He has since been released on a $20,000 bond.
Facebook warning for parents/guardians – This incident is a reminder that parents should provide strict oversight of any social media accounts their children might use. In many cases around the country, sexual predators have lured children into traps where they have been harmed and in some cases, killed. Remind your children who use sites such as Facebook that any contact initiated by unknown persons should be considered extremely suspicious. And of course, taking this type of contact to the next level, a personal meeting, is simply dangerous. In the social media world, predators can easily represent themselves as someone they are not to lure minors into an environment/relationship they can control. A good overview is here: https://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/parent-guide