Lawrence Resident Pleads Guilty to Sexual Exploitation Charges
BOSTON – A Lawrence resident pleaded guilty today to sexually exploiting two children under four years of age.
Jakob Nieves, who also goes by the name Dakota, 20, pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual exploitation of children, one count of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper scheduled sentencing for Dec. 16, 2020. In September 2019, Nieves was indicted and has been detained since being arrested on Aug. 14, 2019.
As part of an investigation into the use of Kik messenger for the trade of child pornography, an undercover agent communicated with Nieves via Kik. During the course of those communications, Nieves sent the undercover agent images and videos that Nieves produced, depicting Nieves sexually abusing a child.
When law enforcement executed a search warrant at Nieves’ home on Aug. 14, 2019, Nieves admitted to distributing images and videos of child pornography to a user Nieves “met” in a Kik group geared toward individuals interested in pedophilia. Forensic analysis of Nieves’ cell phone revealed pornographic images and videos of two children known to Nieves, both of whom were under the age of four, as well as thousands of child pornography images depicting victims personally unknown to Nieves.
The charge of sexual exploitation of children provides for a minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years and up to 30 years in prison. The charge of distribution of child pornography provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and up to 20 years in prison. The charge of possession of child pornography provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. Each charge provides for a minimum of five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne Paruti, Lelling’s Project Safe Coordinator and member of the Major Crimes Unit, is prosecuting the case.
The case is brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In 2006, the Department of Justice created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov/.