SAN DIEGO - A San Diego foster parent and pediatric nurse who sexually exploited a 2-month-old premature boy and an 11-month-old girl placed in his care was sentenced Monday to 80 years in federal prison.
Michael William Lutts, 52, pleaded guilty in January to sexual exploitation of a minor and distribution of child pornography and was sentenced to the maximum allowable term.
He admitted 15 instances in July and August 2014 where he photographed and videotaped the babies in sexually explicit situations at both his home and workplace. Lutts also admitted emailing sexually explicit images of children to others.
"This is one of the most appalling, heart-wrenching cases I have seen in this district," said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy. "All child exploitation cases are heinous. But it's a whole new level of depravity when the victims are babies in the care of a trusted nurse."
In sentencing Lutts to the 80-year prison term -- 15 years more than prosecutor Alessandra Serano had asked for -- U.S. District Judge John Houston called the defendant the "worst of the worst" and "worse than a mass murderer shooting 20 people."
The judge said the maximum sentence should "send a message to others who conduct this activity under the cover of dark."
Houston said Lutts should "never see the light of day" because "rehabilitation would be futile."