Repeat Offender Pleads Guilty to Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material after Downloading Hundreds of Images
BANGOR, Maine: A Castine man pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Bangor today to attempted possession of child sexual abuse material, transfer of obscene material to a minor and obstruction of a federal investigation.
According to court records, in late July and early August 2018, Nicholas Wood, 26, used Snapchat to send a series of obscene images of himself to a child under the age of 16. Wood attempted to manipulate the victim into engaging in sex acts with him and sending him sexually explicit images. After being informed by federal agents that they were investigating the use of his Snapchat account to send obscene images to minors, Wood deleted the application and associated data from his phone to prevent its use in the investigation.
Wood faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on both the attempted possession of child pornography charge and the transfer of obscene material to a minor charge. He faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for obstruction. He will be sentenced after the completion of a presentence investigation report by the U.S. Probation Office. A federal district judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Homeland Security Investigations investigated the case.
To report an incident involving the possession, distribution, receipt or production of child pornography: Child sexual abuse material – "child pornography" – captures the sexual abuse and exploitation of children. These images document victims’ exploitation and abuse, and they suffer re-victimization every time the images are viewed. File a report with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at https://report.cybertip.org/ or 1-800-843-5678. If you are in Maine and you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted or abused, you can get help by calling the free, private 24-hour statewide sexual assault helpline at 1-800-871-7741.
Project Safe Childhood: This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Department’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit www.justice.gov/psc.
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Chris Ruge, Assistant United States Attorney (207-945-0373)