A Massachusetts man was convicted in U.S. District Court last week on five counts of sexual exploitation of a child after enticing a young girl to exchange nude photos with him.
Nicholas Nassif Hayek, 22, of Leominister, Mass., was charged in 2018, but the case was delayed due to COVID. Hayek’s trial was held over a four-day period in July. The jury delivered its verdict July 30.
Hayek was charged by federal authorities in 2018 for exchanging nude photos with a 10-year-old Washington County girl. He used $5,000 cash and his car title to make bond after appearing before a U.S. District judge in his state after his arrest, and he had been free on bond until his conviction.
Hayek’s communication with the girl was reported by her parents in May 2018 after they discovered electronic communications between the man and their daughter. The girl’s mother said Hayek “enticed” her daughter to send him nude photos of herself over a phone app named Kik.
Investigators learned the first communication Hayek made with the girl was on Instagram and later suggested they move the conversation to Kik.
During the investigation, a federal agent posed as the girl on the Kik account and continued the conversation with Hayek. During those communications, Hayek asked for more nude photos of the girl and sent nude photos of himself to her. The agent also stated in court documents that Hayek said he wanted to “make love” to the girl.
Hayek faces a maximum life sentence in prison and a 10-year minimum mandatory sentence and a 15-year minimum mandatory sentence for count one and two, respectively, for enticing a minor. His sentencing was scheduled for Nov. 29 at 1:30 p.m.
The girl’s mother said she urges parents to check their children’s social media activity to ensure they don’t fall prey to people like Hayek.
The evidence presented at trial demonstrated that Hayek found a 10-year-old child via social media. Hayek befriended the child and at trial the jury saw numerous chat messages exchanged between the two. The messages also detailed the countless requests from Hayek asking the child to send him nude photos. Law enforcement also obtained 22 pictures and one video of Hayek exposing himself to the child.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about PSC, visit www.justice.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, click on the “Publications & Resources” link at that site.