PHOENIX – A West Valley man was sentenced to 12 years in prison after investigators found graphic sexual images of minors on his computer, authorities said Wednesday.
Joseph Charles Nolan of Peoria agreed to a plea deal last month on two charges related to an image of a preteen girl found on his computer, according to a press release from the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.
Doctors estimated that the girl was younger than 13 years old, the release said.
Nolan, who pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a minor, will be placed on lifetime probation and must register as a sex offender after his release from prison, the release said.
“Those attempting to evade law enforcement by hiding in the dark parts of the internet seeking to exploit children or conduct other illicit activity will be found and be held accountable for their despicable crimes,” Scott Brown, special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations in Phoenix, said in the release.
Nolan was arrested after investigators used a file-sharing network to download images of child sexual exploitation from a computer in a Peoria apartment.
After his arrest, Nolan admitted to living alone in the apartment at the time the images were downloaded, according to the release.
Investigators say they found images and videos exploiting minors on his laptop, which was equipped with file-sharing software, and two external hard drives.
“Predators may try and hide behind the internet, but anyone who sexually exploits children will be aggressively prosecuted by our office,” Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said in the release.