New Brunswick man sentenced to 15 years for child pornography charge in U.S.

A 50-year-old New Brunswick man who travelled to Ohio to meet a teenage girl has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for production of child pornography in the United States.

Joseph Haggerty was arrested last August after agents with Homeland Security Investigations in Texas received a tip that the man from St. Stephen, N.B., had been soliciting nude images from a child, the U.S. Attorney's Office in northern Ohio said in a news release Monday.

Haggerty flew last August to Cleveland, where agents followed him to Linden Park in the suburb of Rocky River, where he met a teenage girl.

The girl told agents she had started talking to Haggerty on a messaging app in December 2016 and they subsequently engaged in hours-long Skype chats, in which the accused would direct her conduct.

She told relatives she was going on a camping trip for the weekend, but actually planned to go to a hotel with Haggerty.

The release said agents contacted the RCMP in New Brunswick and a search warrant was executed at Haggerty’s home, where police found nude images of a minor from Ohio and contact information for another minor in Texas, as well as evidence of other potential victims.

"This defendant preyed on young girls, emotionally and verbally abusing them and coercing them into sending nude images of themselves," U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said in the release.

"This case is a stark reminder to parents and guardians that they need to know who their children are communicating with online."

Haggerty had pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a child.

Last November, Haggerty was charged in Saint John provincial court with making and possessing child pornography, and luring a child under the age of 18 years.

A Canada-wide warrant was issued for his arrest — a warrant that remains in place, New Brunswick RCMP confirmed Tuesday.

Sentences for similar crimes can often be longer in the U.S. than in Canada.

On Friday, for example, 47-year-old Christopher Mark Lewis from Canaan Forks, N.B., was sentenced to six years in prison for charges including possession of child pornography, making child pornography, invitation to sexual touching and sexual interference.

Lewis will be on the sex offender registry for life, has to submit a sample of his DNA to the court and is on a prohibition order for life, which includes conditions that he not be around any children under the age of 16 and that he not access the internet.


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