TOLEDO – (10-28-22) Lucas Russell Vanwoert, 25, of Celina, Ohio, was charged today in a four-count indictment with possession and transportation of child pornography, transportation of obscene materials and creating an animal crush video.
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According to court documents, on August 28, 2022, Vanwoert allegedly created and intended to distribute an animal crush video. An animal crush video is defined as any photograph, motion picture, film, video or digital recording, or electronic image that depicts actual conduct in which one or more living non-human mammals, birds, reptiles, or amphibians is intentionally crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled or otherwise subjected to serious bodily injury, or bestiality and is obscene.
On September 26, 2022, authorities executed a search warrant at Vanwoert’s residence in Celina and seized several electronic devices that were later found to contain videos of child pornography, which involved prepubescent children, as well as animal crush videos.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal records, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.
The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sara Al-Sorghali and First Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle M. Baeppler.