Branson EMT Pleads Guilty to Producing Child Pornography
SPRINGFIELD, MO—Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Branson, Mo., EMT pleaded guilty in federal court today to producing child pornography.
Nicholas James Dickerson, 30, of Branson, Mo., pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to the charge contained in a Feb. 25, 2015, federal indictment. Dickerson is employed by the Western Taney County Fire Protection District as an EMT and volunteer firefighter. Dickerson was residing in living quarters at a Branson fire station at the time of the offense.
By pleading guilty today, Dickerson admitted that he used a minor to produce child pornography on Feb. 7, 2015.
According to court documents, Dickerson sold his iPhone to a Nixa, Mo., business on Feb. 9, 2015. After the transaction was complete, an employee of the business noticed that the “deleted pictures folder” was still present on the screen. The employee saw an image of child pornography and alerted the store owner, who contacted law enforcement.
Investigators identified the nine-year-old victim in the image. Dickerson told investigators that he took the photo while sexually abusing the child victim in his living quarters at the fire station, and that he sexually abused the victim on multiple occasions. Dickerson also told investigators he had shown pornography to the child victim.
Under federal statutes, Dickerson is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 30 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ami Harshad Miller. It was investigated by the FBI.
Project Safe Childhood
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 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 victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc . For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”