Johnathan Michael Nichol will serve eight years in prison for taking sexually exploitative photographs of a 20-month-old girl and possessing child pornography.


Nichol, who was living in Eagle River when he was arrested in 2010, pled guilty in July of last year to taking the photos of his relative and sharing them on the Internet. Prosecutors say investigators found one of the images on two other computers in Texas and Illinois in separate cases.


During the sentencing, the victim’s mother addressed the court.


“I worry about the safety of myself and my children,” said the mother. “My daughter, who was pictured in the images, manufactured and distributed by Johnathan Nichol, now suffers from anxiety because of what he did.”


The victim’s mother says her daughter “has issues with her interactions with unfamiliar males.”


“She either can’t bring herself to look at or talk to males and breaks down crying if one touches her that she’s not comfortable with,” the victim’s mother said. “Or she is overly comfortable, sometimes literally putting herself all over them.”


Before he was sentenced, 29-year-old Nichol read a statement to the court.


“I don’t want people to be afraid of me, I don’t want to look like a monster,” said Nichol. “I will pay for my crime and better myself in jail and out in the world. Pornography is not something I should’ve viewed in the first place.’


The prosecutor for the state, Adam Alexander, requested that the court consider “community condemnation and reaffirmation of societal norms.”


In doing so, Alexander said the state asked for a minimum sentence of 20 years with 10 years suspended on the two counts.


Judge Kevin Saxby said community condemnation is an extremely important factor, and Alaska has taken a strong stand.


“We recognize our past failings in this area,” said Saxby. “And the community as a whole has taken a strong stand on crimes of this nature.”


For the crime of possessing child pornography, Nichol was sentenced to four years with two years suspended. For the crime of unlawful exploitation of a minor, he was sentenced to 12 years with four years suspended. He will serve the terms concurrently, resulting in eight years in prison. He’s eligible for parole in five years.


“I do believe that you want to change, and I believe you should be given a chance to change,” said Saxby.


The investigation into Nichol began in 2010 when Anchorage Police Department detectives were given a tip from The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.


“I’m glad we have some closure, this has taken a long time,” said former APD detective Glen Klinkhart, who led the investigation. “The judge did make a good decision. At the end of the day, the victims can continue with their lives. They are going to get some restitution and the help that they need.”