News and Press Releases

Spartanburg Man Sentenced to 110 Months for Child Porn

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 17, 2013

Contact Person: Bill Watkins (864) 282-2100

Columbia, South Carolina –--United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Michael Christopher Nicolai, age 30, of Spartanburg, was sentenced today in federal court in Anderson, to possession of child pornography, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2252A.    Senior United States District Judge G. Ross Anderson, Jr. of Anderson sentenced Nicolai to 110 months imprisonment.

Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that law enforcement learned that Nicolai was sending child pornography using a paid social networking website.  Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation obtained a search warrant for Nicolai’s residence and executed on February 1, 2013. Law enforcement retrieved Nicolai’s computer and conducted a forensic analysis.  Agents found still images and videos of child pornography.  Nicolai had attempted to reformat his hard drive to hide the evidence of his crime, but FBI computer technicians were able to recover the images despite Nicolai’s efforts.

The case was investigated by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Bill Watkins of the Greenville office handled the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States 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, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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