District of Massachusetts | Taunton Man Pleads Guilty to Child Exploitation

A Taunton man pleaded guilty today to child sexual exploitation and distribution of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) in federal court in Boston.

Cody Mercure, 25, pleaded guilty to one count of child sexual abuse and one count of distribution of child pornography. U.S. District Court Judge Leo T. Sorokin has scheduled sentencing for 2023. April 25 Mercure was indicted by a federal grand jury in 2021. in September.

in 2021 February 19 Mercure sexually abused a toddler in his care and captured the abuse on video. Mercure also distributed a large number of CSAM files over the Internet using a messaging application. For example, in 2021 January 16 Mercure distributed CSAM depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor to another messaging app user. More than 100 images and videos depicting child pornography were stored on one of the phones seized during Mercure’s arrest.

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The child sexual abuse charges carry a prison sentence of at least 15 years and up to 30 years, supervised release of at least five years and up to life, and a fine of up to $250,000. The distribution of child pornography charge carries a sentence of at least five years and up to 20 years in prison, at least five years and up to life in supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the United States Sentencing Guidelines and statutes governing sentencing in criminal cases.

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The announcement was made today by United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins and Matthew B. Millhollin, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in New England. Valuable assistance was also provided by the Rhode Island State Police and the Taunton Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elianna J. Nuzum of Rollins’ Major Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.

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The case was filed as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse that began in 2006. May. started by the Department of Justice. Led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Indecency Division, Project Safe Childhood directs federal, state, and local resources to find, apprehend, and prosecute child abusers, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit https://www.justice.gov/psc.

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