Nurse Accused of Graphic Sex Acts with Newborn Claimed to Have "Virtual Baby": Neighbor

One of Lutts' neighbors said the accused offered a baby to him and his wife

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NBC 7's Sherene Tagharobi reports on the Kaiser Permanente pediatric nurse Michael Lutts who was arrested August 26, 2014 on suspicion of sexual exploitation of a child. (Published Thursday, Aug 28, 2014)

A San Diego pediatric nurse accused of sex crimes involving a two-month old foster child allegedly told neighbors he had recently gotten a “virtual baby.”

Officials said Michael Lutts, 50, of College Grove, faces charges of sexual exploitation of a child involving the premature baby he had been granted custody of on Aug. 4.

It was around that time that one of Lutt’s neighbors said the accused offered a baby to him and his wife.

“He mentioned something like ‘Hey do you guys want a baby?' And we're like looking at him, like 'What do you mean,' and he's like ‘No I just got a virtual baby,'” Mike Sawicki recalled.

Sawicki said it was a confusing statement because they had never seen Lutts with a baby. He thought it might be a reference to a doll designed to help people learn about parenting.

“When I hear about this, I just couldn’t believe it,” Sawicki said. “It’s terrible, I mean, it’s unthinkable and for it to happen right across the street from where I live… it’s crazy.”

Agents served a search warrant at Lutt’s home on Tierra Baja Way on Tuesday.

In a federal complaint, FBI investigators claim they uncovered evidence linking the Kaiser Permanente pediatric nurse to very graphic lewd acts involving the infant.

“Beginning on day one of that child being placed in his care there's documented video and images of him engaging in the molestation of this child,” said FBI Spokesperson Darrel Foxworth.

Court documents claim the videos and images recorded on five separate days show Lutts performing lewd acts on himself and the baby. In one video, the baby can be heard crying continuously, officials said.

The baby has been placed with Child Protective Services.

Lutts was in custody at the Bureau of Prisons, Metropolitan Correctional Center and due in court Friday.

However, there was another layer of concern.

“In his position, Mr. Lutts had access to juveniles. We do have some concerns there may be other victims out there,” Foxworth said.

Kaiser Permanente said there was no indication that any patient was involved and that Lutts will not return to work until the investigation is complete.

The FBI is encouraging anyone who may feel they are a potential victim in this case to call (858) 320-1800.

Here is the hospital's statement in full: 

"At Kaiser Permanente, our first priority is to keep our patients safe as we address their health care needs, and nothing is more important than assuring the appropriate care of our young patients.

We hold sacred the trust our patients place in Kaiser Permanente. We will not tolerate any employee or physician abusing that trust.

We are cooperating fully with the authorities during their investigation, which is ongoing at this time. We have no information from law enforcement indicating any Kaiser Permanente patients were involved.

The employee will not be returning to work pending the outcome of the investigation and any criminal proceedings. As this is an ongoing law enforcement matter we will defer to the appropriate legal authorities for any further comment on this matter."

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