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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Tennessee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 2, 2021

Federal Jury Convicts Massachusetts Man On Five Counts Of Child Exploitation Related Offenses

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. - Following a four-day trial in United States District Court at Greeneville, a jury convicted Nicholas Nassif Hayek, 22, of Leominster, Massachusetts, of knowingly or attempting to knowingly entice a minor to engage in sexual activity, knowingly or attempting to knowingly persuade a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing any visual depiction of such conduct, knowingly transferring obscene matter to another individual who had not attained the age of 16 years, knowingly receiving child pornography and knowingly possessing child pornography involving a child less than 12 years of age.

Sentencing is set for November 29, 2021, at 1:30 p.m., before the Honorable J. Ronnie Greer, in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Greeneville.  Hayek faces a maximum life sentence in prison and a 10-year minimum mandatory and a 15-year minimum mandatory for count one and two, respectively, for enticing a minor.

The evidence presented at trial demonstrated that Hayek found a 10-year-old child via social media. Hayek befriended the child and at trial the jury saw numerous chat messages exchanged between the two. The messages also detailed the countless requests from Hayek asking the child to send him nude photos. Law enforcement also obtained 22 pictures and one video of Hayek exposing himself to the child.

Acting U.S. Attorney Francis M. Hamilton, III of the Eastern District of Tennessee, made the announcement.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations led the investigation that resulted in the indictment and subsequent conviction of Hayek.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Meghan L. Gomez and J. Gregory Bowman represented the United States at trial.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006, by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about PSC, please visit www.justice.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education click on the link for “Publications & Resources.”

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Contact: 
Rachelle Barnes Public Affairs Officer (865) 545-4167
Updated August 2, 2021