NAPOLEON, Ohio — A former Henry County sheriff's deputy has been released from prison a little more than a year after he pleaded guilty to child pornography charges.
On Friday, visiting Judge James Bates granted judicial release to 40-year-old Nicholas Pieracini.
Last September, Pieracini pleaded guilty to eight felony counts. Two second-degree felonies were for sharing child pornography in a Kik chatroom. The remaining six fourth-degree felonies were for images he possessed when authorities raided his home on March 5, the same day he was placed on administrative leave by the Henry County Sheriff's Department. He resigned on March 16, the day that a disciplinary hearing was scheduled.
He was sentenced to four to six years on the second-degree felonies, with the sentences to be served concurrently. He was given 15 months for each of the remaining counts, each to be served concurrently. He could have served as many as seven years but was eligible for judicial release after one year.
"It's not difficult to prosecute people who possess child pornography. It's disgusting, and he deserves to be punished," Special Prosecutor Melissa Schiffel told WTOL 11 after Pieracini was sentenced last October. "It's disgusting that someone in a position of trust would do something like this."
She also said her personal opinion on Pieracini's early release is "irrelevant" and that "he served the minimum time required for judicial release, the motion was put forward and the judge granted it. "
Pieracini has been classified as a Tier II sex offender and must register his addresses every six months for the next 25 years. He will also be on probation for five years, be subject to drug and alcohol testing and cannot have unsupervised interaction with minors, except for members of his family.