A former Hammond, Ind., teacher who pleaded guilty to possessing naked pictures of two students now claims he’s innocent because the pictures were not lascivious in nature.
Jon Erik Lilly, who filed a motion in May to vacate his conviction, filed another brief Friday in support of his motion, the Post-Tribune is reporting.
Lilly, who taught at Morton High School, waived almost all of his rights to appeal as part of his plea deal, a point that federal attorneys have argued. However, Lilly claims in his new filing that his innocence should trump this.
He admits in the new filing that he asked the students, two girls who were 16 and 17 years old at the time, to send him naked pictures. However, the filing argues that because the pictures do not focus on their genitals, they cannot then be considered lascivious, which is part of the charge he pleaded guilty to.
Lilly claimed in his original motion to vacate that he had received ineffective counseling from his attorney during his change of plea hearing and was forced into pleading guilty.
“Defendant had also been led by his counsel to believe that any photograph that happens to show the genitals of an underaged individual is, per se, a lewd exhibition of the genitals,” Lilly says in his newest filing.
Lilly is serving a 12-year sentence in the case at the Federal Correctional Institute in Forrest City, Arkansas. His set to be released in 2023, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.