Crime & Courts

Burke County man sentenced to 21 years for producing child pornography

Jesse Brison Ollis
Jesse Brison Ollis Hickory Daily Record

A Burke County man was sentenced to 21 years in federal prison this week for producing child pornography.

Prosecutors said the case against Jesse Brison Ollis, 27, of Valdese, involved two girls, one from Australia and the other from Western North Carolina.

The investigation began in November 2014 when Australian authorities reported that a 14-year-old Australian girl had engaged in sexually explicit communications over the internet with a man later identified as Ollis, prosecutors said.

The girl told authorities she met Ollis online in 2011 when she was 12 and believed Ollis to be 17, according to court records.

Electronic devices seized from Ollis’ home showed he had been communicating with the victim online and had “blogged,” or posted, child pornography images on the internet.

Investigators also found sexually explicit images and videos of the N.C. victim Ollis had befriended, prosecutors said.

Helping lead the investigation were federal agents from ICE/Homeland Security Investigations and agents from the State Bureau of Investigation’s Computer Crimes Unit.

“Ollis is every parent’s worst nightmare coming to life,” U.S. Attorney Jill Rose said in a news release announcing the sentencing. “He targeted impressionable young children and used the Internet in the worst possible way: to share sexually explicit images of victimized underage girls.”

“This case serves as an example to anyone who is involved in the production of child pornography, regardless of where in the world the investigation may lead or how much time may have passed, HSI is committed to holding them accountable,” said Nick Annan, special agent in charge of ICE/Homeland Security Investigations in the Carolinas and Georgia.

“The child victims of these illegal images often suffer physical and psychological scars for many years, and HSI is committed to aggressively targeting those who engage in child sexual exploitation,” Annan said.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak