Probation ordered for Williamstown man who sent teen explicit photos, messages

PITTSFIELD — A Williamstown man who sent sexually explicit photos and messages to a 13-year-old Pennsylvania girl has been sentenced to two years of probation.

Thomas R. Nelson, 32, sent risque photos and text messages to the girl in the spring and summer of 2016. The girl's mother discovered them on a tablet in August 2016.

Further investigation revealed that the man, later identified as Nelson, also had sent the girl explicit photos of his penis.

The victim's mother brought the matter to Pennsylvania state police, who, in turn, tracked the conversations back to Nelson.

At some point, Nelson had reset his device, which removed the photos and messages, but the corresponding material was still on the girl's devices, and investigators were able to link it back to Nelson.

The girl had indicated to Nelson that she was 16 and had a driver's license. When Nelson asked for her birth date, the date she gave him actually showed she was 15.

Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Robert Kinzer said that showed Nelson knew or should have known he was communicating with a minor.

Nelson, who has no previous criminal record, pleaded guilty in Berkshire Superior Court on Wednesday to one count of disseminating harmful matter to a minor.

Judge John Agostini sentenced him to two years' probation, during which time Nelson must undergo a mental health evaluation and participate in whatever counseling is deemed appropriate, submit to GPS monitoring and have no unsupervised contact with minors.

Reach Bob Dunn at, at @BobDunn413 on Twitter and 413-496-6249.


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