BANGOR, Maine: A Deer Isle man was sentenced today in federal court for possessing child pornography, U.S. Attorney Darcie N. McElwee announced.
U.S. District Court Judge Lance E. Walker sentenced Nicholas Pettis, 38, to 10 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release. Pettis was also ordered to pay $6,000 in restitution to victims depicted in the videos he possessed. Pettis pleaded guilty on April 13, 2021.
According to court records, Pettis possessed electronic devices containing short videos of children, including infants and toddlers, being sexually abused by adult men. Pettis traded these videos online to obtain similar materials. The electronic devices, including cell phones and a computer, were seized from his home on June 25, 2020, during execution of a search warrant.
In imposing the sentence, Judge Walker noted that the materials in this case depicted “the most vulnerable, youngest members of society, who are completely helpless, subject to the most profound terror imaginable.” The judge further commented that the horrors of the materials Mr. Pettis traded in “could not be adequately captured by Dante or his seven circles of Hell, and I don’t think any of us do ourselves any favors by ignoring that truth.”
Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit investigated this case.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
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