By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Attorney vows to appeal verdict
Man found guilty in child porn case
Placeholder Image
Forsyth County News

A software salesman convicted last week of knowingly possessing images of child pornography on his home computers may appeal the charges against him.

A Forsyth County Superior Court jury found Erik Lottes, 45, guilty Friday of six counts of sexual exploitation of children.

Lottes’ attorney, Romin Alavi, said he will file a notice of appeal in the matter, but declined to comment further.

Visiting Judge Howard Cook of Gwinnett County remanded Lottes to Forsyth County custody and said he will likely schedule his sentencing in the coming weeks. Lottes faces five to 20 years in prison on each count.

Jury selection in the case began Monday.

Thursday, Lottes testified that he admitted to possessing images of child pornography on his home computers in a 2009 interview with authorities to protect his family.

He said he felt he "didn’t have any other choice" but to confess for fear his teenage sons would be arrested.

He testified they had both been born without immune systems and had bone marrow transplants. Another son, who suffered from the same condition, died several years ago.

Lottes said he first became aware there was suspected child pornography in his house in January 2009, when his wife called him at work because authorities had come to their home searching for it.

According to testimony, suspected images of child pornography were found on two computers kept in a room next to the laundry room.

Both of Lottes’ sons testified they had used the computers to download videos, music and adult pornography.

In his closing argument, Forsyth County Assistant District Attorney Michael Mahoney said Lottes "downloaded, viewed and saved hundreds of images of child sexual abuse." He also attacked the credibility of the statements made by Lottes’ wife and children, who testified on his behalf.

"That man knew there was child pornography on his computer because he was looking at it," Mahoney said.

Alavi countered that there was "not a single shred of physical evidence" linking his client to the suspected files and that none of the witnesses who testified in the matter could say that Lottes downloaded child pornography.

Alavi said his client would have "admitted to killing Kennedy if he thought it would keep those kids alive."

He also said of the four computers kept in the home, authorities did not find suspected images of child pornography on Lottes’ work laptop or a computer in his bedroom.