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Starting the conversation about sex abuse

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - Former track and cross country coach, 31-year-old Martin Nicholson is facing federal charges including sexual exploitation of a child and receiving child porn.

This after he was arrested on local charges Tuesday night for child pornography charges. 

Parents in the three Central New York school districts where Nicholson previously coached were concerned to hear about the charges.

"That's always the complicating factor, particularly when we have someone in a place of trust, like a teacher or a coach, that has put themselves in their vocation, in a place where they have consistent access to students--that's why these cases bother us so much," said Jeremy Cali, the Special Victims Bureau Chief of the Onondaga County District Attorney's Office. 

Cali said police have to tread lightly when releasing sensitive information.

"How do we not compromise the investigation but at the same time, inform parents, inform schools," Cali said. 

The McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Center visits schools to educate parents on this difficult topic.

"We'll start working with schools right now, reaching out to them, asking if they would like us to come in, setting up some debriefing sessions," said Colleen Merced, Director of the McMahon Ryan Child Advocacy Center.

Merced said sex abuse cases involving coaches, are often difficult for young girls and boys to bring up, but they hope the conversation starts at home.

"Having that kind of open dialogue with your kids is huge. Particularly in the wake of something like this," Cali said. 

New York State Police is asking anyone information about this case or any other instance of alleged sex abuse to call their 24/7 hotline at (315) 366-6000. 

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