BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. -- The former mayor of Stillwater was sentenced in Saratoga County Court on Tuesday morning. Ricky Nelson, 63, was arrested last year on child pornography charges, which led to his resignation as mayor.
“I am truly sorry for perpetuating my victim’s abuse,” said Nelson inside the Saratoga County Courthouse.
Judge James Murphy sentenced Nelson to five to 15 years in state prison. He apologized to his family and his one-time constituents. Nelson admitted he had a sex addition and was getting treatment while out on bail.
“I am sad and broken, but grateful that my addiction has been exposed so that healing can occur,” Nelson said.
He was then taken out of the courtroom in handcuffs to immediately begin serving his sentence.
Nelson was arrested in August after State Police say the Computer Crimes Unit became aware that an IP address in Stillwater had downloaded photographs depicting child pornography. Nelson submitted his resignation days later.
"During the moments that I was active in my addiction, I was being selfish, not realizing the victims who were being abused," Nelson said. "As embarrassed and ashamed as it was when I was arrested, it pales in comparison to the pain they must feel during their lives."
Before his sentencing, Nelson had to re-plead guilty to the five counts of possessing a sexual performance of a child. Prosecutors say because of a change in the law between his guilty plea and Tuesday's sentencing, Nelson had to admit that he came into possession of the child porn at different times.
Nelson will serve one to three years in prison for each of the five counts consecutively.
“Although I am sorry, that word in this situation, 'sorry,' is just not enough,” Nelson said.
Upon his release, Nelson will have to register as a sex offender.