Middle River Man Pleads Guilty to Sexually Exploiting Minors to Produce Child Pornography

Created Videos in Which He Sexually Molests a Baby and a Minor Female

October 26, 2010

Baltimore, Maryland - John Fred Nicklas IV, age 35, of Middle River, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to two counts of sexually exploiting minors to produce child pornography.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein, Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department; and Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger.

“All child sexual abuse cases are troubling, but this is one of the worst,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.

According to Nicklas’ plea agreement, Baltimore County police detectives operating in an undercover capacity received videos and images of child pornography from a computer located at Nicklas’ residence. A search warrant was executed at his home on July 30, 2009 and over 600 images of child pornography involving prepubescent children and sadomasochistic conduct were seized.

A joint investigation by Baltimore County Police and the FBI revealed that between at least February 15 and August 5, 2009, Nicklas obtained videos depicting the sexual abuse of children, and sexually abused children himself in order to produce child pornography. Nicklas had minor females at his home and arranged for them to change their clothes in rooms set up to record their activities. Nicklas also had minor females spend the evening at his house.

Nicklas traveled to other states to obtain minor females in order to sexually abuse them and produce child pornography. Nicklas planned to have children so that he could sexually molest those children.

Some of child pornography seized from Nicklas’ home included at least six videos created by Nicklas depicting him sexually abusing a baby girl and a minor female, and recording three minor females as they changed clothes.

As part of the plea agreement, Nicklas and the government have agreed that if the Court accepts the plea agreement Nicklas will be sentenced to between 50 to 60 years in prison, followed by supervised release for life. U.S. District Judge William M. Nickerson scheduled sentencing for January 27, 2011 at 9:45 a.m.

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 United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (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 Details about Maryland’s program are available at

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI, the Baltimore County Police Department; and the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office for their investigative work and assistance in the prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Bonnie S. Greenberg, who is prosecuting the case.

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