SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio man was sentenced today to 20 years in prison for distribution of child pornography.
According to court documents, in 2019, Lynn Maxwell Gerstner, 72, befriended a minor in South Carolina. The online relationship became sexual in nature when Gerstner began talking openly about sex and asked the minor to send nude photos. The minor produced and shared nude photos and sexually explicit videos. When the minor tried to break the relationship off, Gerstner contacted the minor’s employer stating he had videos of the minor that were “extremely sexual in nature,” and thought the minor’s employment should be terminated. Instead, the employer contacted law enforcement in San Antonio.
On April 23, 2019, Bexar County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at Gerstner’s residence and recovered cell phones that belonged to Gerstner. Numerous images of child pornography were found on the phones including sexually explicit photos of children as young as four.
On June 11, 2020, Gerstner pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of child pornography. In addition to the prison sentence, Gerstner was ordered to pay $20,000 in restitution and a lifetime of supervised release after prison.
“This defendant spent the majority of his life as a predator, exploiting young children for his own sexual gratification,” said U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff. “Even after law enforcement agents seized his devices, he immediately went out and obtained new devices so he could continue to have access to child sexual abuse materials. He not only sexually exploited minors, but he also actively attempted to cause additional harm if they didn’t comply with his sexual demands. The court recognized the increased danger he presented to our society and sentenced him appropriately.”
“Every day, our nation’s children are being abused and exploited by child predators,” said FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge Jason Hudson. “But thankfully, now there will be one less violent offender on the streets, harming the children of our community. The FBI and our law enforcement partners will continue to relentlessly pursue and prosecute those who would commit heinous acts against our most precious treasure – our children.”
The FBI, along with invaluable assistance from the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy Thompson prosecuted the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and 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.