Jacksonville Man Indicted For Attempting To Entice And Meet An 11-Year-Old Child To Engage In Sexual Activity
Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that Jason Charles Nicholas (53, Ramona, California) has been arrested and indicted for distributing child sexual abuse materials over the internet. If convicted, Nicholas faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 5 years, and up to 20 years, in federal prison and a potential life term of supervised release. Nicholas was arrested on September 21, 2023 in San Diego County, California. He has been detained and will be transported to Jacksonville by the U.S. Marshals Service for prosecution in this case.
According to court documents, on August 3, 2023, an FBI agent in the Jacksonville area, using the persona of the parent of an 11-year-old “child,” began working in an undercover (UC) capacity on a particular social media application (app) to identify individuals who were attempting to sexually exploit children. The UC began a private conversation on the app with a user named “cldad,” who was subsequently identified as Nicholas. Nicholas falsely claimed that he lived in Florida and indicated his desire to meet the UC at the UC’s residence in northeast Florida to have sex with the 11-year-old “child.” However, Nicholas subsequently abandoned this plan and began threatening the UC that he would expose the UC’s purported criminal sexual conduct unless the UC streamed live video of the “child” to Nicholas. The UC refused to do so. Nicholas later apologized for threatening the UC and the two continued online conversations for several weeks. Nicholas told the UC about his longtime practice of brushing up against and taking surreptitious photos (“creep shots”) of young girls in public places, and also that he had abused a young child after overdosing the child with medication.
During an online conversation on August 17, 2023, Nicholas sent the UC six videos and two photos that depicted young children being sexually abused. Further investigation by the FBI led to the identification of Nicholas. On September 21, 2023, FBI agents, with assistance from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office, arrested Nicholas as he was on his way to work. On that same day, a federal search warrant was executed at Nicholas’ residence resulting the seizure of several electronic devices.
This case was investigated by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office, the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Jacksonville and San Diego. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
It is another case brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue child victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.