A Portland man is facing at least 10 years in prison after pleading guilty in U.S. District Court to charges of enticing a minor and possessing child sexual abuse material.

According to a news release from the United States Attorney’s Office, the charges stem from online conversations that Joshua Decker, 36, started with a 16-year-old in a chat forum beginning in December 2022.

In April 2023, the conversations became graphic and sexual and Decker discussed traveling to meet the 16-year-old, despite knowing that they were a minor, the office said.

The release said the office is not publicly identifying the victim and is limiting identifying information, including their gender and city of residence, to protect their privacy.

The Portland Police Department executed a search warrant on Decker’s vehicle and person in July 2023 and recovered a tablet that contained child sexual abuse material.

Decker pleaded guilty to the charges in U.S. District Court in Portland on Tuesday.


The federal statutes under which he pleaded make it illegal to persuade, induce, entice, or coerce someone under the age of 18 to engage in sexual activity.

Decker was previously convicted in Androscoggin County Criminal Court in 2018 for possession of sexually explicit material of a minor under 12.

He faces no less than 10 years and up to life in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 on the enticement charge and between 10 and 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on the possession of child sexual abuse material charge.

Any sentence would be followed by five years to life of supervised release.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that a federal district judge will determine a sentence after considering U.S. sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.

Homeland Security Investigations investigated the case with assistance from the Portland Police Department.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, online enticement of children is increasing, with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children reporting a 300% increase in online enticement reports between 2020 and 2023.

Online enticement involves an individual communicating with someone believed to be a child via the internet with the intent to commit a sexual offense of abduction. It can take place on social media, messaging apps, or gaming platforms.

Anyone in Maine who has been or knows someone who has been sexually assaulted or abused can get help by calling the free, private, 24-hour statewide sexual assault helpline at 1-800-871-7741.

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