SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Nicholas Vuksinich, 35, of Sacramento, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley to 17 years and seven months in prison for producing child pornography, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
In sentencing Vuksinich, Judge Nunley said, “There are no victims in the criminal justice system more vulnerable than children.” Judge Nunley also ordered Vuksinich to pay at least $33,000 in restitution with additional amounts to be determined at a hearing scheduled for Feb. 11, 2021.
“This defendant’s conduct was long-lasting, extensive, and directed at real children whom he manipulated on the internet,” U.S. Attorney Scott said. “His actions will have severe effects on his victims that may last for the rest of their lives. Today’s sentence reflects the seriousness of the offense and our office’s commitment to protect children from further crimes of this nature.”
According to court documents, between July 6, 2016, and November 2016, Vuksinich communicated with a victim who lived in the Midwest region using video, audio, and Skype chat. When the communication began, Vuksinich knew that the victim was 14 years old. Through a series of online interactions on different days, Vuksinich directed her to engage in numerous demeaning, lewd, lascivious, and sexual activities, and he saved the images to his computer.
On May 30, 2018, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Vuksinich’s residence in Sacramento. A search of his computer revealed approximately 500 images of the victim. His computer also contained more than 900 additional child pornography videos and photos, including downloads on the day of the search. Skype chats on Vuksinich’s computer also indicated he directed numerous other minor children to perform sex acts.
This case was investigated by the Sacramento Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, a federally and state-funded task force managed by the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department with agents from federal, state, and local agencies. The Sacramento ICAC investigates online child exploitation crimes, including child pornography, enticement, and sex trafficking. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher S. Hales and Rosanne L. Rust prosecuted the case.
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 those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. Click on the “resources” tab for information about internet-safety education.