HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - A former janitor who plead guilty in federal court to four counts of sexual exploitation of a child, two counts of possession of child pornography, and one count of distribution of child pornography has filed a motion to have his sentenced reduced.
In October 2014, Jeremy Nelson was arrested after police found out he had placed video cameras in the restroom and changing areas of several businesses in Madison County, including Ann's Dance Studio and WHNT News 19.
Nelson was sentenced to 140 years and now court documents have been filed saying he believes his counsel failed him.
According to those documents, Nelson said his attorney told him his only option was to enter a plea of guilty.
When Jeremy Nelson was arrested for placing video cameras in the restrooms, he claims this was the first time he had to deal with an attorney. Nelson was arrested in the past but said they were all misdemeanors and he plead out.
He said his attorney pressured him into a plea deal and coached him on how to properly answer complicated questions. Nelson said his plea was involuntary.
He said at the time of his arrest he was intoxicated, because if this he couldn't fully understand what was going on around him when he let officers search his home.
Nelson said his story of his encounter with police wasn`t brought up in court.
Court documents show images classified as child pornography were obtained by efforts to receive voyeurism depictions and to possibly trade.
"Nelson took advantage of a situation he was in to invade the privacy of children as young as three, as well as adults and many teenagers and adolescents," explained Eric Artrip, who represents many of the victims involved in the case.
Nelson said there`s a lack of evidence that he had the intention to produce child pornography.
Because he plead guilty, it's not known what the prosecution really had on Nelson or what they felt about his attorneys at the time.
Nelson said his counsel failed him and the court should vacate the convictions, reduce the sentence, appoint counsel and conduct hearings or grant any other appropriate relief. Nelson thinks the appropriate sentencing should have been 19 to 30 years.
He is currently being held at a prison in Tucson, Arizona.