OGDENSBURG - A 23-year-old city man charged May 30 with allegedly downloading images of young girls engaged in sexual acts, some under the age of 10, will have his case handed up to superior court for possible presentment to a St. Lawrence County grand jury.
Nicholas S. Holt, 23, of 231 Lake St., was charged by state police with felony counts of promoting the sexual performance by a child under 17 years old and possession of sexual performance by a child.
Holt was originally arrested in May and arraigned before Morristown Town Justice Lisa J. Whitmarsh and released on $1,000 bail.
Holt appeared this week in Ogdensburg City Court, where he pleaded not guilty and waived a preliminary hearing before Ogdensburg City Judge William R. Small.
Holt is alleged to have been in possession pornographic material, including at least one image depicting a sexual act involving a girl under the age of 10, according to court records.
Holt was arrested following a several-month-long investigation by New York State Police, who used a specialized software program capable of searching “peer to peer networks” used to disseminate pornographic materials. According to police statements on file with City Court, Holt was found to have computer images of a prepubescent female under the age of 10 engaged in a sexual act with an adult male.
In a statement to police on May 30, Holt said his interest in child pornography started a year earlier when he was living in Gouverneur and was attempting to download “legal pornography” when he accidently downloaded a file of an underage girl using a web camera.
“The next time I actively sought child porn out was about two to three weeks later,” Holt wrote in his statement. “I think I typed in the search bar, 14-year-old girl nude.”
Holt told investigators he downloaded approximately “a couple hundred files of child porn” and that the files consisted typically of girls between the ages of 12 and 14, but sometimes younger.
“I have viewed several files that contained females under the age of 10-years-old,” according to his statement.
Holt also allegedly told police that he kept his activities secret from his wife and tried on several occasions to stop searching for illegal pornographic images. His statement also expresses remorse for his actions.
“I have tried to stop viewing child porn many times, but could not stop,” Holt wrote in his statement. “I am sorry for downloading child porn. It disgusts me and I am sorry.”
If found guilty, Holt could be sentenced to between one and seven years in prison for the D felony and from one to four years for the class E felony.