Former youth minister in Los Alamos pleads guilty in child porn case

Posted: October 15, 2010 in Uncategorized
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Matthew Nichols, a 58-year-old youth minister at Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Los
Alamos, pleaded guilty Friday morning in Albuquerque to distributing and attempting to distribute child pornography.

From a statement released Friday from Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth M. Martinez, the public affairs officer for the Albuquerque U.S. Attorney’s Office:

Nichols specifically admitted to distributing and attempting to distribute a video depicting a minor boy engaged in sexually explicit conduct with an adult male as charged in Count 2 of the indictment.

The investigation into Nichols began with an investigation launched in 2009 by the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office after receiving a tip from the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children.

That tip had only an IP address to a computer being used to distribute child pornography. The IP address belonged to the church, where Nichols worked. Later Nichol’s personal computer was also linked to child pornography.

Federal prosecutors say that between the church computer and Nichols’ computer, there were 1,465 images and 186 videos depicting child porn.

From a New Mexican article in June on Nichols:

Nichols previously was convicted in Dauphin County (Harrisburg), Pa., on charges of corruption of minors and criminal solicitation to commit involuntary deviate sexual intercourse.

Prosecutors say Nichols will face between 15 and 40 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and a potential lifetime of supervised release once out of jail. He will also have to register as a sex offender.

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