Family’s use of iPhones debated in porn case
A Chesapeake man convicted of sexual abuse and possession of child pornography was back in court Monday to answer prosecutors' concerns about his opportunity to get on the Internet.
Robert Lutsy, 43, is serving a sentence on home confinement after pleading guilty to the charges this summer. As part of the plea agreement with the state, prosecutors said he was not to have access to the Internet through any computer or device.
How far-reaching that "access" goes was a point up for debate before Kanawha Circuit Court Judge Charles King on Monday.
Assistant Prosecutor Erica Lord said it means no one in his home can have computers or devices, either. But she said Lutsy's wife and 19-year-old son had iPhones.
Lord said, "They were all instructed that no one was to have a device with Internet access. Home confinement went out and obtained the phones.
"On the son's phone, pornographic websites had been visited," she said. "There's no way of knowing who accessed those."
"What's your point?" King asked.
"I think they need to be instructed once again," she said. "I don't want those phones returned to the family."
"What if they kept them in their cars?" King asked. "You want me to take them entirely away?"
"The whole point of this agreement was that they were not to have them," Lord said. "They can have other phones that don't have Internet access."
Lutsy was indicted by a grand jury for sexual abuse involving an 11-year-old boy, and during that investigation authorities found that he had 400 images of young boys in various sexual situations on his home computer.
Michael Del Giudice, his attorney, said his neighborhood is "trying to set him up" and sparked the recent check on his family's cellphones.
"They are calling the prosecutor's office and saying, 'He's here, he's there,' " Del Giudice said.
King and the attorneys discussed whether the limitation on family members was included in Lutsy's sentencing order and whether they understood it clearly.
"I want you to revoke his home confinement," Lord said. "But I know you aren't going to do that. It's the state's position that he has violated his home confinement rules.
"I'm asking you to make it clear to them that you all have to abide by the rules," she said.
King said he would confer with Home Confinement Chief Harry Carpenter to determine a final answer.
Del Giudice said Lutsy's wife and son would like their iPhones back but would keep them out of their home.
Contact writer Cheryl Caswell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-4832.