Skip to main content
Press Release

Williston, ND, Man Sentenced to 50 Years in Federal Prison for Sexually Exploiting Several Minor Children

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of North Dakota

Bismarck – United States Attorney Mac Schneider, District of North Dakota, announced that Nicholas Anfin Nesdahl, age 29, from Williston, ND, appeared in Federal court before District Court Judge Daniel M. Traynor for sentencing on seven counts of producing or attempting to produce images and videos depicting the sexual exploitation of minors charged in the District of North Dakota and two counts related to producing or attempting to produce and receiving images and videos of minors that were charged out of the Western District of Pennsylvania. Nesdahl was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for the North Dakota charges and 20 years for the Pennsylvania charges, to run consecutive, with a lifetime supervised release.

Nesdahl’s conduct consisted of himself friending minors using various social networking platforms on the internet. Once his friend request was granted, Nesdahl would begin to groom the minors to produce images and videos of themselves nude or engaging in sexual activity. The activity was first discovered and reported to law enforcement by a parent of two victims located in Pennsylvania, which then resulted in a search of Nesdahl’s residence in Williston, North Dakota. As a result of that search, it was discovered that Nesdahl had victimized at least seven other victims that were located in North Dakota, Minnesota, Maryland, Texas, and New Jersey. The victims ages ranged from 6 
to 15 years of age.

“This 50-year sentence is a fitting one considering this defendant’s abhorrent and virtually unspeakable treatment of children,” Schneider said. “Protecting kids is a fundamental priority, and our state, federal, and local law enforcement partners will use cutting edge technology and old-fashioned investigative work to bring child predators offline and into a federal courtroom to face justice.”

“Nesdahl’s conduct online, while reprehensible, is similar to many predators who exploit minors through social networking platforms,” said Jamie Holt, HSI St. Paul Special Agent in Charge. “This is a significant threat to our communities. Parents, guardians, and educators should understand that online apps providing messaging, photo, or video sharing capabilities could lead their children into a world where they may be at risk. It’s very important that adults have conversations with kids and provide oversight to ensure they aren’t exposed to environments where they could potentially be vulnerable to predators.Well done to our special agents and law enforcement partners for bringing Nesdahl to justice.”

This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices throughout the nation, Project Safe Childhood, in conjunction with Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), help federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies enhance their investigative responses to offenders who use the Internet, online communications systems, or computer technology to sexually exploit children. The ICAC Program is a national network of 61 coordinated task forces engaging in proactive investigations, forensic investigations, and criminal prosecutions. Project 
Safe Childhood also helps to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

For additional resources for survivors or victims, help is available at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) and CyberTipline URL

This case was investigated by the Homeland Security Investigations and the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigations Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gary Delorme, District of North Dakota.

                                                                                                                                          # # #


Terry W. Van Horn  701-297-7400

Updated June 25, 2024

Project Safe Childhood