BURLINGTON — A Barre man has been sentenced to 10 years and one month in prison on federal child sexual abuse material charges.
Alexander Chase, 25, was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Burlington to 121 months to serve on two felony convictions of possessing child sexual abuse materials and a felony conviction of distributing such materials.
Chase pleaded guilty to the crimes in June. Once released from prison, Chase will be placed on probation for 20 years and has been ordered to pay $3,000 in restitution.
The U.S. Attorney’s office dropped a second felony count of distributing child sexual abuse materials, per the plea agreement.
According to court records, Special Agent Jamie West, of the Department of Homeland Security received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about an email account from Google that had uploaded child sexual abuse material to Google’s photo storage and sharing service. West said the email was connected to an IP address from Chase’s residence. West reviewed the file that caused the tip which was a 10-second video showing a young girl exposing herself.
A search warrant was obtained for the email address and West discovered Chase had been exchanging emails with an underage girl. The agent said Chase and the girl had exchanged nude photos.
West said the victim was from Pennsylvania and Chase had asked her if she had ever been to Vermont. He also asked her whether she would come to his place for sex, according to court records.
West said law enforcement was contacted in Pennsylvania and the victim was identified as an 11-year-old girl. The agent said the victim admitted to sending nude photos to Chase.
West said Chase was interviewed in September 2020 and admitted to asking the girl for the photos. He told West he thought the victim was 13 years old, according to court records.
Chase also told West his computer had as many as 800 images of child sexual abuse material. West said Chase gave consent to search his cellphone and on it West found a video of a toddler being sexually assaulted.
West said Chase was on probation until July 2020 on a felony conviction of lewd and lascivious conduct from 2017. He received a three-year deferred sentence and was placed on probation. In that case, West said Chase admitted to sexually rubbing on a child who was 7 or 8 years old at least 100 times.
Matthew Millhollin, special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations’ Boston field office said in a statement announcing Chase’s sentence, “Chase deceived and coerced a child to obtain exploitative imagery. With our partners on the Vermont Internet Crimes Against Children task force, HSI is working to protect our children online and ensure those who seek to prey on them face consequences.”