You are here

Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Massachusetts Man Sentenced To 204 Months For Child Exploitation Related Offenses

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – On February 22, 2022, Nicholas Nassif Hayek, 23, of Leominster, Massachusetts, was sentenced to 204 months in federal prison, by the Honorable J. Ronnie Greer, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Greeneville.  

Following a four-day trial, ending on July 30, 2021, Hayek was convicted of knowingly or attempting to knowingly entice a minor to engage in sexual activity, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2422(b), 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, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2251(e), knowingly transferring obscene matter to another individual who had not attained the age of 16 years, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1470, knowingly receiving child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(b)(1), and knowingly possessing child pornography involving a child less than 12 years of age, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(b)(2).  Upon his release from prison, Hayek will be on supervised release for 15 years. Hayek will be required to register with state sex offender registries and comply with special sex offender conditions during his supervised release.

The evidence presented at trial demonstrated that Hayek befriended a 10-year-old child via social media and engaged in numerous chat messages with the child. The messages included 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. 

In determining the sentence, Judge Greer found that Hayek had obstructed justice by testifying untruthfully at trial. Judge Greer found that Hayek’s testimony at trial indicated that Hayek was arrogant and unwilling to accept responsibility for his actions.  Judge Greer considered several aggravating factors, including the serious emotional scars caused to the child victim by Hayek’s conduct when factoring the sentence length.

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

The criminal indictment was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This investigation was led by FBI Special Agent Bianca Pearson.

Assistant United States Attorneys Meghan L. Gomez and J. Gregory Bowman represented the United States.

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, please visit www.justice.gov/psc/resources.html and click on the tab "resources.”

                                                                                         ###

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Contact: 
Rachelle Barnes Public Affairs Officer (865) 545-4167
Updated February 23, 2022