Former Allegheny Professor, Kirk Nesset, is set to change his not guilty plea in an Erie, Pa. federal court on April 6. Nesset, 57, made his original plea of not guilty on charges of receipt, distribution and possession of child pornography on Oct. 15, 2014.
No terms of any plea deal were made clear in the court record.
The tenured professor’s home was raided by federal and state law enforcement officials on Oct. 1, 2014 where more than 500,000 image and video files were found on his computer. According to the affidavit, the investigation began on Aug. 14, 2014, when FBI Special Agent Jimmie John Daniels of the FBI’s Phoenix, Ariz. office conducted an investigation in an undercover capacity on a Bittorrent Peer-to-Peer file sharing network. Upon further investigation, the IP address was traced to Nesset’s Arizona home and his billing address in Meadville.
Nesset was initially indicted on Oct. 14, 2014, citing child pornographic activities taking place over the span of nine years, from 2005 to 2014.
Nesset, an award-winning writer, admitted in the interview with law enforcement officials following the execution of the search warrant that he was aware that he was sharing information in a shared folder and that he knew “downloading child pornography was wrong,” according to the affidavit.
Following news of his arrest, President of the College James Mullen released an immediate statement saying it was the first the college had heard of any allegations and that it would give full cooperation, if required, by law enforcement agents.
If found guilty, Nesset faces a minimum sentence of five years in prison.