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Press Release

Portland Man Faces 10+ Years to Life for Enticement of a Minor, Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maine
Joshua Decker has prior state conviction for possession of child pornography

PORTLAND, Maine:  A Portland man pleaded guilty on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Portland to enticing a minor and possessing child sexual abuse material.

According to court records, in December 2022, Joshua Decker, 36, met the 16-year-old victim in an online chat forum and began regularly communicating with them despite knowing the victim was a minor. In April 2023, the conversations became graphic and sexual, and Decker discussed traveling to meet the victim. The U.S. Attorney’s Office does not identify victims of crime and is limiting identifying information, including gender and location, to protect the minor victim’s privacy. In July 2023, the Portland Police Department executed a search warrant on Decker’s vehicle and person, recovering a tablet. Examination of the tablet revealed child sexual abuse material. Decker was convicted in Androscoggin County Criminal Court in 2018 for possession of sexually explicit material of a minor under 12.

Decker faces no less than 10 years and up to life in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 on the enticement charge and 10–20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on the possession of child pornography charge. Any sentence would be followed by five years to life of supervised release. A federal district judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) investigated the case with assistance from the Portland Police Department.

Online enticement is increasing: The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) reported an alarming 300% increase in online enticement reports between 2020 and 2023. “Online enticement” involves an individual communicating with someone believed to be a child via the internet with the intent to commit a sexual offense or abduction. This type of victimization takes place across every platform, including social media, messaging apps, gaming platforms, etc. Learn more about online enticement, including red flags and risk factors, at 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 iGuardian program available to Maine communities: The Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) program Project iGuardian is focused on keeping children and teens safe from online predators through education and awareness. The in-person educational outreach effort was created to share information about the dangers of online environments, how to stay safe online, and how to report abuse and suspicious activity. Schools, parent groups, and other community groups interested in bringing the program to their community can find more information at:

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



Peter I. Brostowin, Assistant United States Attorney (207-780-3257)

Updated July 8, 2024

Project Safe Childhood