Maryland Man Sentenced To 10 Years In Prison For Traveling Into The District Of Columbia To Engage In Illicit Sexual Conduct With A Minor And Possession Of Child Pornography
WASHINGTON - Charles Nickerson, Jr., 35, formerly of Stevensville, Md., was sentenced today to a 10-year prison term on charges of traveling interstate to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor and possession of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr., Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
Nickerson pled guilty in June 2013 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The plea agreement, which was contingent upon the Court’s approval, called for the 10-year prison term. The Honorable Ketanji B. Jackson approved the plea and sentenced Nickerson today. Upon completion of his prison term, Nickerson will be placed on 10 years of supervised release. He also will be required to register as a sex offender for a minimum of 25 years.
According to the government's evidence, on March 5, 2012, Nickerson contacted an undercover officer with the FBI's Child Exploitation Task Force, who had posted a message on a website that is frequented by individuals who have a sexual interest in children. As the online exchange continued, Nickerson sent the undercover officer, whom he believed was the father of an under-aged girl, five images of child pornography. During the conversation, they also discussed the possibility of meeting for the purpose of engaging in sexual acts with the child.
In the course of further communications, Nickerson arranged to meet with the undercover officer and the purported child on March 9, 2012. At about 7 that night, law enforcement stopped him in his vehicle in Northwest Washington and placed him under arrest. A search of Nickerson’s car led to the discovery of a blue bag with sex toys and personal lubricant.
Pursuant to a warrant, law enforcement searched Nickerson’s residence in Stevensville, Md., on March 12, 2012. Law enforcement seized a computer which contained numerous images of child pornography, including the five distributed to the undercover officer. As part of his guilty plea, Nickerson agreed to forfeiture of his car, computer, and other items.
This case was brought as part of the Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood initiative and investigated by the FBI's Child Exploitation Task Force, which includes members of the FBI's Washington Field Office and MPD. In February 2006, the Attorney General created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorney's Offices, 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 identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
In announcing the guilty plea, U.S. Attorney Machen, Assistant Director Parlave and Chief Lanier praised the work of the MPD Detectives and Special Agents of the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force. They also commended the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cassidy Kesler Pinegar, David Last, and Amy H. Zubrensky, who investigated and prosecuted the case, and Catherine K. Connelly, who assisted with forfeiture issues.