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Press Release

California Man Sentenced To More Than 13 Years For Distributing Child Sexual Abuse Material Using Stolen Online Identity, Ordered To Pay $81,500 In Restitution To Child Victims

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Jacksonville, Florida – United States District Judge Marcia Morales Howard has sentenced Jason Charles Nicholas (54, Ramona, California) to 13 years and 4 months in federal prison for distributing child sexual abuse material over the internet using a stolen online identity. Nicholas was also ordered to serve a 10-year term of supervised release, register as a sex offender, and pay $81,500 in restitution to child victims. Nicholas was arrested in San Diego County, California on September 21, 2023, and detained. He was subsequently transported to Jacksonville for prosecution.  

According to court documents, on August 3, 2023, an undercover FBI agent (UC) in the Jacksonville area, posing as the parent of a minor “child,” was investigating individuals on a particular social media application (app) who were attempting to sexually exploit children. The UC began a private conversation on the app with user “cldad,” who was later identified as Nicholas. Nicholas was using an online identity stolen from a resident of northeast Florida, and Nicholas indicated his desire to meet the UC at a residence in Florida to have sex with the “child.” However, Nicholas abruptly changed this plan and began threatening to expose the UC’s purported criminal conduct unless the UC streamed live video of the “child” to Nicholas. The UC refused. Nicholas later apologized for making these threats, and online conversations between him and the UC continued for several weeks. Nicholas told the UC about his longtime practice of brushing up against and taking surreptitious photos of young girls and women in public places (Nicholas referred to these as “creep shots”), and that he had purportedly sexually abused a young child after overdosing the child with medication. Nicholas also sent the UC several photos of young women that he had digitally altered and sexualized to make them appear pornographic.  

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 driving to his workplace.  

When interviewed, Nicholas admitted that he had sent the videos and photos depicting the sexual abuse of minors to the UC using the app and by email, that his sexual attraction to children was “complicated,” and that he had been downloading child sexual abuse materials “for a long time.” A search of Nicholas’s cellphone revealed that it contained at least 2,500 explicit videos, many of which depicted the sexual abuse of young children, infants, and toddlers.    

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 was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown.

This 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

Updated March 26, 2024

Project Safe Childhood