Former Aurora police officer faces 5 counts of child solicitation charges

Wanda English Burnett

Dennis Lewis, 52, of Dillsboro was arrested last Thursday, April 8 on charges of Child Solicitation, a Class C felony.

Lewis was a police officer for the Aurora Police Department until the same day of his arrest when he resigned.

According to information from the Indiana State Police, Lewis was charged after he is alleged to have a sexually illicit chat on the Internet with an undercover officer posing as a 13-year-old girl.

Dearborn-Ohio County Prosecutor Aaron Negangard held a press conference regarding the incident where he said Lewis never attempted to meet the “girl” but had engaged in conversation with her regarding sexual intercourse, deviate sexual conduct and fondling. He said the undercover agent had sent photos of herself posing as a child to Lewis. Negangard said Lewis had sent “live footage” from a web camera of his male genitalia.

The conversation is alleged to have taken place in December of 2009.

On Monday of this week four additional charges were levied against Lewis. These also involved inappropriate Internet conversations with a different undercover officer in Ohio on four other occasions, according to information from the Indiana State Police.
Investigators say attempted contact was made by Lewis as recently as April 5 just three days before his arrest. He now faces five counts of Child Solicitation.

At an initial hearing last Friday, Lewis pled not guilty.

Lewis had served as the former assistant police chief for the City of Aurora, had been the police chief for the Town of Dillsboro and worked for the Dearborn County Sheriff’s Department as well. He had a total of nearly 25 years in law enforcement. He served with the Dillsboro Volunteer Fire Department for more than 20 years.

Police say Lewis was not on duty at the time of the alleged crimes.

Prosecutor Negangard noted that Lewis, as others charged with various crimes, is only accused at this time and is presumed innocent until proven guilty. If found guilty, Lewis could face up to eight years in prison and could be fined up to $10,000. He could also have to register on Indiana’s sexual offender list.