FARMINGTON — A local man pleaded guilty Friday to possessing pornographic images of young children on his computer.

Nicholas L. Smiley, 23, of Farmington entered the plea to possession of sexually explicit material of children under age 12 in Franklin County Superior Court.

Assistant District Attorney Joshua Robbins said if the case had gone to trial, members of the Maine State Police Computer Crimes unit would have testified that Smiley had sexually explicit materials on a computer and related technology in 2011.

Smiley initially denied having a computer and then told police he had been tipped off that they were looking for him, Robbins said evidence would show. He told them he dropped the computer into a river.

Police talked to Smiley’s girlfriend and learned that the two had packed up a tub and brought it to his grandfather’s house. A forensic examination of the evidence found in the tub showed there were several files of pornographic images of children that appeared to be between the ages of 1 and 14, Robbins said.

He said the plea agreement calls for a 12-month delay on sentencing and requires Smiley to complete several tasks, including counseling. Robbins said the state would seek the forfeiture of the computer.

Justice Nancy Mills ordered Smiley to have no contact with children under age 16 unless supervised by an adult, no possession of child pornography and to submit to random searches of any digital device, among other conditions.

If he successfully completes the agreement, he will be able to withdraw his plea to the felony charge and plead to a misdemeanor charge, Mills said. If not successful, he faces a sentence of up to five years in prison, she said.

He will be required to register for 10 years under the Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act after sentencing for either conviction.

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