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Minneapolis Man Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison for Producing Child Pornography Over Social Media

ST. PAUL, Minn. – A Minneapolis man has been sentenced to 300 months in prison followed by 15 years of supervised release for coercing minors to produce child pornography over social media, announced U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger.

According to court documents, in 2019, Nelson Thomas Harner, 41, admitted to connecting with multiple minors on Instagram and Facebook and coercing them to engage in sexual activity for the purposes of producing child pornography. Harner also possessed numerous images and videos depicting child sexual abuse material.

On July 11, 2023, Harner pleaded guilty to one count of coercion and enticement. He was sentenced on May 15, 2024, in U.S. District Court by Judge Eric C. Tostrud.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the U.S. Marshals Service and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorney's Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Assistant U.S. Attorney Esther Soria Mignanelli prosecuted the case.


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