The Fayetteville Observer, N.C.
Nicolas Antonio McElrath, 24, pleaded guilty in September, the release said.
According to the release, McElrath was first investigated in Jun 2018, after Child Protective Services notified the Fort Bragg Criminal Investigation Division that McElrath’s wife had found “lewd communication with an unknown 15-year-old female and an unknown 11-year-old female” on McElrath’s Instagram account, the criminal complaint against McElrath states.
According to the complaint, McElrath sent messages to the two girls asking for naked pictures and their addresses to meet for sex.
McElrath admitted to law enforcement that he had flirted with the girls online and attempted to meet for sex, and his cellphone was seized, the complaint states.
The complaint states his cellphone contained multiple communications with underage females and nude images of a girl between the ages of 10 and 14.
The Army CID attempted to identify the girls but were unsuccessful, the complaint states.
Then, on Sept. 28, 2020, Fort Bragg CID received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that McElrath had transmitted a video file containing apparent child pornography, the complaint states.
According to the complaint, the video was a 45-second clip of a girl between the ages of 8 and 13 performing oral sex.
The document states that McElrath was confronted on Nov. 10, 2020, by Fort Bragg CID at his assigned place of duty on Fort Bragg and his cellphone was once again seized, the complaint states.
According to the complaint, the phone contained dozens of pornographic images and videos of children.
One of the videos depicted a child between the ages of 3 and 6 performing oral sex, the complaint states.
According to the news release, investigators found photos on McElrath’s cellphone that depicted him sexually abusing a child, but the complaint doesn’t make a specific note of this evidence.
Crime Reporter Jack Boden can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @jackboden5.
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