Missouri man sentenced to 15 years in prison without parole for child pornography

Prison Sentence

A Missouri man who downloaded thousands of images and videos of child pornography was sentenced in federal court.

Nicholas Goins, 36, of Springfield, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to 15 years in federal prison without parole. The court also sentenced Goins to spend the rest of his life on supervised release following incarceration and ordered Goins to pay $24,000 in restitution to his victims. Goins will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison and will be subject to federal and state sex offender registration requirements, which may apply throughout his life.

On March 3, 2020, Goins pleaded guilty to one count of receiving and distributing child pornography. He has been in federal custody since December 2019.

According to court documents, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Goins’s residence on March 7, 2019. Officers seized multiple digital storage devices, which contained thousands of images and videos of child pornography. A forensic examination discovered messaging sessions with other individuals in which they shared child pornography. Goins actively encouraged such exchanges. One of the participants posted imagery of himself sexually abusing a 4-year-old child victim, for which he was charged in another district.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James J. Kelleher. It was investigated by the Springfield, Mo., Police Department, the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force, and the FBI.