LUQMAN GOTTI, formerly known as Timothy Pennington, 37, of Manchester, has been charged by federal criminal complaint with receiving and soliciting child pornography.
GOTTI appeared this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert A. Richardson in Hartford. GOTTI has been in state custody since November 13, 2017, when he was arrested on related state charges.
According to the criminal complaint, on June 14, 2017, GOTTI and a 13-year-old boy were communicating through the Kik messaging application after GOTTI responded to an ad the boy had posted on Craigslist. After the boy informed GOTTI that he was 14 years old, GOTTI asked the boy for pictures and sent the boy a sexually explicit image. In return, the boy sent sexually explicit pictures himself to GOTTI. Later in the conversation, GOTTI told the boy “I already went to jail over a 14 year old not trying to go through that again.” GOTTI then asked the boy for more sexually explicit pictures. In response, the boy sent GOTTI another sexually explicit photograph and video of himself.
The complaint further alleges that GOTTI has a prior felony conviction under the name Timothy Pennington in the state of Connecticut for second degree sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl. According to the complaint, GOTTI legally changed his name from Timothy Pennington.
If convicted, GOTTI faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 years, a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years, and a fine of up to $250,000. The penalties in this matter are enhanced based on GOTTI’s criminal history.
U.S. Attorney Durham stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Manchester Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Neeraj N. Patel.
This prosecution is part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood Initiative, which is aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
To report cases of child exploitation, please visit www.cybertipline.com (link is external).