A Gainesville man arrested on 14 child pornography charges was sentenced Monday to two years in state prison followed by three years of sexual offender probation.
Daniel Dickson, 40, was initially charged with 12 counts of possession of child pornography and two charges of possession with intent to promote child pornography.
He entered a plea of nolo contendere, meaning he didn’t plead guilty or not guilty, to only two out of 12 counts of possession of child pornography. His remaining charges were dropped as part of the plea bargain.
After the Gainesville Police Department arrested Dickson on Sept. 19, 2021, he was released on a cash-only bond and agreement to other conditions. He was ordered to wear a GPS monitoring device, barred access from the internet and told to immediately return to Harmony Hills, a mental health treatment center.
Dickson stated he is diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder, according to his plea deal.
Dickson was booked in Alachua County Jail Dec. 19, where he will remain until transferred to a state prison. After two years in prison, he will have three years of sexual offender probation and be declared a sexual offender.
Registered sex offenders must check in with local authorities throughout the year, inform authorities of travel plans within the state and if they plan to move out of the state as well as update personal information every year, according to Florida sex offender legal procedures.
Prior to his arrest, GPD received a sworn complaint and led the investigation and discovered child exploitation material on the BitTorrent network, a software that enables massive distribution of files on the internet.
The investigators downloaded 157 files on July 25, 2021. Out of the files, 82 involved pre-pubescent females, with 64 of those containing child sexual abuse material. The other 75 images involved pubescent juvenile females or child erotica, according to the arrest report.
Investigators traced the files to an IP address of a Cox Communications’ subscriber in Gainesville. After a search warrant was issued Aug. 24, 2021, the subscriber’s son, Dickson, was arrested.
Dickson has no prior criminal history in Alachua County, according to court records.
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Claire Grunewald is a third-year journalism major and a metro reporter for The Alligator. In addition to writing, she enjoys going to the beach and discovering new music.