French Citizen Sentenced To 108 Months For Transporting Child Pornography
SAN FRANCISCO – Nicolas Perret was sentenced yesterday to nine years in prison for transporting child pornography, announced United States Attorney Melinda Haag.
Perret, 43, of Saint Laurent Du-Pape, France, was indicted by a federal grand jury on May 17, 2012. He was charged with four counts of sexual exploitation of children and transportation of child pornography.
Perret pleaded guilty on May 7, 2013, to a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(1), transportation of child pornography. According to the plea agreement, Perret admitted to possessing recordings of live video chats he had conducted with three minors whom he had convinced to engage in sexually explicit conduct after developing lengthy online relationships with the victims posing as a 15 year old boy.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) attaché in Ottawa, Canada, was alerted to Perret’s activities by Canadian authorities, who had been investigating Perret in connection with a trip Perret took to Ontario, Canada, to meet an underage girl with whom he had developed an online relationship posing as a teenage boy.
According to a court document filed by the government related to this sentencing, Perret lured young girls, barely in their teens, into performing sex acts on a video camera. Over 100 videos, featuring suspected underage girls on webcams in sexually exploitative situations, were recovered on the Perret’s laptop. The government’s sentencing memorandum further indicates that Perret established contact and engaged in communication with his victims through popular social media and video chat websites. Perret, according to the government, also invaded his victims’ bedrooms with texts and phone calls, imploring them to undress and perform sexual acts, all while hiding behind a fictitious teenager identity he knew they had grown to trust.
"As this case vividly illustrates, the advent of the Internet means youth are now vulnerable to exploitation by sexual predators not just around the corner, but around the globe," said Clark Settles, Special Agent in Charge for HSI San Francisco. "This new reality means that as parents and as law enforcement, we must be mindful of the risks facing children when they go online and use every tool at our disposal to keep them safe."
The sentence was handed down by The Honorable William H. Alsup, U.S. District Court Judge, following a guilty plea on one count in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(1). Judge Alsup also sentenced the defendant to a 5-year period of supervised release, and Perret is required to register as a sex offender. In addition, Perret was ordered to pay over $28,000 to the family of one of his victims to compensate them for the costs of psychological treatment incurred as a result of the offense. Perret has been in custody since his arrest in March of 2012.
Carolyn Silane is the Special Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Bridget Kilkenny. The prosecution is the result of a year-long investigation by ICE HSI.