U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Pennsylvania
April 6, 2015

Former Allegheny College Professor Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography Offenses

ERIE, PA—A resident of Meadville, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of violating federal laws relating to the sexual exploitation of children, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Kirk Nesset, 57, pleaded guilty to three counts before United States District Judge David S. Cercone.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Nesset distributed, received and possessed thousands of computer movies and images depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Some of these images and movies depicted infants and toddlers.

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.justice.gov/psc.

Judge Cercone scheduled sentencing for August 10, 2015 at 2:15 p.m. The law provides for a total sentence of 50 years in prison, a fine of $750,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court continued Nesset on bond for one month. At the conclusion of the month, Nesset must report to prison.

Assistant United States Attorney Christian A. Trabold is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pennsylvania State Police conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Nesset.

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