ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A federal jury convicted a Loudoun County man on charges of producing and distributing child pornography.
According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Kevin Hewlett, 34, was a farrier, a craftsman who trims and shoes horses’ hooves. He was hired to be the farrier to a minor girl’s horses.
Hewlett began communicating with the minor girl regularly through text messages and social media applications. Then in August 2018, Hewlett recorded himself engaging in sexually explicit conduct with the minor in his bedroom. A few months later, in January 2019, Hewlett distributed the sexually explicit video of himself with the 16-year-old girl to the minor over the internet using Instagram.
Hewlett faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years in prison when sentenced on Feb. 26, 2021. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
This 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. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
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.
This case was investigated by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI’s Washington Field Office’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, composed of FBI agents and local, state, and federal partners.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathaniel Smith III and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Gwendelynn Bills are prosecuting the case.