Englishman charged in federal court with porn production for sex photo of 13-year-old Levant girl

Posted Sept. 28, 2013, at 8:56 a.m.
Nicholas Cheese
Nicholas Cheese

BANGOR, Maine — The Englishman charged this summer in state court with sexually assaulting a 13-year-old Levant girl he allegedly met online in a Harry Potter chat room appeared Friday in federal court on one count of production of pornography.

If convicted, Nicholas Cheese, 26, of Oxford, England, faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years.

Cheese was charged July 1 with one count each of gross sexual assault, a Class A felony, and sexual exploitation of a minor, a Class B felony, according to a previously published report. He has not yet been indicted by the Penobscot County grand jury on those charges.

Since his arrest June 30, Cheese has been held at the Penobscot County Jail unable to post $100,000 cash bail. In his first appearance Friday in U.S. District Court, Cheese waived his right to a detention hearing and agreed to be held without bail until his case is resolved.

Because he not been indicted by a state or federal grand jury, Cheese has not been asked to enter pleas to any of the charges.

Cheese came to the attention of law enforcement June 30 when the girl’s parents reported she had been sexually assaulted by a 26-year-old man from England, according to an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court. In an interview with a detective from the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office, the girl said she met Cheese online in April or May 2012.

According to the affidavit, Cheese told the girl he was coming to Texas for a convention and would stop in Bangor to see her. The two met at Cheese’s motel room June 26, 27 and 28, when they allegedly had sex.

When interviewed by investigators, Cheese admitted that he knew the girl was 13, that he had traveled to Bangor to have sex with her and that he had previously asked the girl for nude photos and videos. Those and at least one sexually explicit photo taken in Cheese’s motel room were found on his cellphone and iPod, according to the affidavit.

It could not be determined Saturday if the state charges would be dismissed or presented to Penobscot County grand jury this fall while the case in federal court proceeds.

If convicted in state court, Cheese faces up to 30 years in prison on the gross sexual assault charge and up to 10 years in prison on the sexual exploitation of a minor charge. He also faces fines of up to $50,000 and $20,000 on each charge, respectively.

To reach a sexual assault advocate, call the Statewide Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Line at 800-871-7741, TTY 888-458-5599. This free and confidential 24-hour service is accessible from anywhere in Maine. Calls are automatically routed to the closest sexual violence service provider.

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