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Monday, April 15, 2024

Ocala man arrested after being accused of numerous sexual offenses involving children

An undercover investigation by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office led to the arrest of a 29-year-old Ocala man after he was accused of numerous sexual offenses involving children.

On Wednesday, October 12, a woman filed a report with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) stating that she was messaging a man on social media who was identified as Nicolas Bernard Wallace. During these online conversations, the woman stated that Wallace admitted to sexually battering prepubescent girls on multiple occasions.

Nicolas Bernard Wallace
Nicolas Bernard Wallace

After the woman reported the matter to CCSO, detectives received her permission to continue messaging Wallace from her account in an undercover capacity, according to a media release from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO).

On Friday, October 14, undercover CCSO detectives engaged in a lengthy conversation with Wallace on the social media application. While conversing with the undercover detectives, Wallace transmitted four images that depicted children who were being sexually abused.

According to MCSO, Wallace attempted to arrange a sexual encounter with the woman, and he offered to bring a young child with him. Wallace claimed to have sexually abused this child previously, and he stated that he had nearly unrestricted access to the child.

During the conversation with undercover detectives, Wallace also described the process of grooming young children in explicit detail, and he stated that he hoped to have daughters of his own one day so he could begin molesting and sexually battering them as infants.

CCSO took immediate action to locate Wallace due to the potential threat to the child that he claimed to have access to. When CCSO learned that Wallace may be in Marion County, detectives contacted the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

MCSO detectives located Wallace at his residence located in the 4100 block of SW 22nd Street in Ocala, and he was taken into custody. He was already being actively investigated for previously uploading child sexual abuse material to a social media application, and a search warrant was obtained for his home.

According to MCSO, a cellphone and tablet belonging to Wallace were collected for forensic examination during the search of his residence.

After being read his Miranda rights, Wallace refused to speak to investigators about his conversation with the undercover CCSO detectives.

Wallace was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail where he is currently being held on $95,000 bond. He is facing felony charges for transmission of child pornography (four counts), possession of child pornography (two counts), solicitation to commit sexual battery on a victim less than 12 years of age, promoting the sexual performance of a minor, and unlawful use of a two-way communication device to facilitate a felony.

Once the forensic examination of Wallace’s cellphone and tablet are completed, MCSO detectives anticipate that additional charges will be brought against Wallace.

A court date for Wallace has been scheduled on Tuesday, November 15 at 9 a.m., according to jail records.

Due to the nature of these crimes and Wallace’s statements about sexually battering young children in the past, MCSO detectives believe that there may be other victims. If you feel that you may have been victimized by Wallace, or if you know someone who may have been victimized by him, please contact Detective King at 352-368-3586.