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Former CNY coach facing federal child porn charges

Martin Nicholson (New York State Police)

A former track and cross country coach with ties to three Central New York Schools is now facing federal child porn charges.

Martin Nicholson, 31, appeared in federal court Wednesday afternoon and was charged with sexual exploitation of children, which carries a minimum sentence of 15 years with a maximum 30 and receiving child pornography, which carries a minimum sentence of five years, and a maximum of 20.

Nicholson could also face fines of up to $250,000 per count.

According to newly released court documents obtained by CNYCentral, Nicholson had a thumb drive that was labeled "child porn." The court documents allege Nicholson was in possession of pornographic images depicting at least one child under the ages of 10 and 16.

Nicholson was charged on Tuesday with two counts of possession of child pornography, one count of promoting child pornography, one count of unlawful surveillance and one count of unlawful sex act, according to Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick.

In the past, Nicholson has coached at Westhill Central School District, Jordan-Elbridge Central School District, and Bishop Ludden Junior-Senior High School.

The DA said Nicholson is accused of having images of an underage girl and sharing it. He is also accused of having a sexual relationship with another girl at the same school.

"We suspect that he has had contact with numerous young children throughout the course of his career," Fitzpatrick said.

The Westhill Central School District released a statement on their website Tuesday afternoon. The statement says the district is cooperating with the investigation and no students were identified as victims.

Nicholson is in U.S. Marshals custody, and a hearing is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 15.

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