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Former track and cross country coach arrested on federal child pornography charges

SYRACUSE, N.Y (WSYR-TV) - A former track and cross country coach is now facing federal child pornography charges.

Martin Nicholson pleaded not guilty to federal charges, including sexual exploitation of a child and receiving child pornography. 

State Police say all parents of the known victims have been notified. 

Nicholson has coached at Jordan-Elbridge, Westhill and Bishop Ludden in the last decade, but is not currently active as a coach.

In court Tuesday night, it was revealed that Nicholson allegedly had child porn of newborn infants in his possession and was reportedly distributing content to other predators online.

The judge also issued orders of protection for the victims and set bail.

Nicholson is being held on $15,000 cash bail, $30,000 bond for charges in the City of Syracuse and $10,000 cash bail and $20,000 bond for charges in the Town of Geddes.

Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick says there were several victims who were all underage females. One of the victims is now in her 20s and two of the girls are teenagers.

Nicholson is facing charges of use of a child for a sexual performance, unlawful surveillance, third-degree criminal sex act, possessing child pornography and promoting the use of a child in a sexual performance. 

Fitzpatrick says one victim was coerced into taking sexually explicit photos.

Nicholson is scheduled to be back in court on October 15th for a preliminary hearing.

If you have not been contacted by State Police, you do not need to worry about your child being a victim. 

However, the investigation is still on-going. Your child is encouraged to come forward if they are a victim of Nicholson. 

The Westhill District issued the following statement on Tuesday: 

URGENT AND TIME SENSITIVE MESSAGE October 9, 2018 The District was informed today of the arrest of former coach, Martin Nicholson, for serious crimes involving children. We have been in contact with the District Attorney and continue to cooperate with the investigation. At this time, no Westhill students have been identified as victims. Nonetheless, the safety and security of our students is our paramount concern. Should your child have any information surrounding inappropriate interactions in person or on social media with Martin Nicholson, please contact the State Police hotline at 315-366-6000.

Bishop Ludden issued their statement in regards to the arrest: 

Bishop Ludden Jr/Sr High School and the Diocese of Syracuse were informed today of the arrest of Martin Nicholson for serious crimes involving young children. We have been in contact with the district attorney and continue to cooperate with the investigation. Should you or your child have any information surrounding any interaction in person or on social media with Martin Nicholson, please contact the State Police Hotline at (315) 366-6000. The safety and security of our students is of paramount concern.


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