Judge Sentences St. Louis Man to 15 Years in Prison for Multiple Crimes of Child Exploitation | USAO-EDMO

ST. LOUIS — United States District Judge Rodney W. Sippel today sentenced Nicholas M. Ray to 15 years in federal prison. Ray previously pleaded guilty to attempting to persuade or coerce a minor to engage in sexual activity and distribution of child pornography during a court appearance held in October 2021. In 2014, Ray was convicted by St. Charles County Circuit Court for possession of child pornography and served a three-year prison sentence.

According to the plea agreement, in March 2020, Ray contacted a profile on a social media platform who was actually an undercover police detective. During several posts on the social media app, Ray informed the undercover detective that he had a sexual interest in minors as young as eight years old. Ray also stated that he was interested in child pornography and had previously received such material from others in chat messages.

Between March 2020 and April 2020, Ray communicated with the undercover detective several times indicating his desire to meet for sex involving minors. On April 28, 2020, Ray, using a separate online application, sent the undercover detective a link containing several thousand child pornography videos.

The undercover detective arranged a meeting with Ray at a local hotel under the guise of having sex with a fictional underage child. Ray was arrested on June 10, 2020 after arriving at the hotel.

This case was investigated by the St. Louis County Police Department and the St. Louis FBI Child Exploitation Task Force.

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