SAN DIEGO – A foster parent and pediatric nurse was sentenced Monday to 80 years in prison for sexually abusing two babies placed in his care.
Michael William Lutts, 52, was sentenced in federal court for sexually exploiting a 2-month-old premature boy and an 11-month-old girl who he cared for in 2014.
During the sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge John Houston called Lutts the “worst of the worst” and described his conduct as “horrific” and “worse than a mass murderer shooting 20 people” because the newborns he targeted “are the most fragile people to victimize.”
Before the sentence was handed down, Assistant U.S. Attorney Alessandra Serano urged Judge Houston to hand down a 65-year prison term –essentially life in prison considering the defendant’s age.
“This defendant is a parent’s worst nightmare and a predator to society. He should never see the light of day. Rehabilitation would be futile,” Serano said.
Judge Houston handed Lutts a sentence that was 15 years more than the prosecutor had asked for – saying he wanted to “send a message to others who conduct this activity under the cover of dark.”
The judge said he would not recommend any psychological treatment for the defendant as the “taxpayers shouldn’t waste their money on treatment.”
Lutts pleaded guilty in January, admitting to 15 instances in July and August of 2014 in which he photographed and videotaped the babies in sexually explicit situations at both his home and workplace. In one image, the defendant photographed his own exposed genitals beside the infant, who was still wearing his hospital bracelet.
Lutts also admitted emailing sexually explicit images of children to others.
Lutts pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of distribution of child pornography. In addition to his custodial sentence, he was ordered to forfeit his College area home where most of the crimes occurred.