A man from England who took a sexually explicit photo of a 13-year-old Levant girl during an enounter in a Bangor hotel pleaded guilty Friday to a federal charge of production of pornography.

Nicholas Cheese, 26, of Oxford, England, appeared in U.S. District Court in Bangor before Judge John Woodcock Jr. and waived his right to have his case heard by a federal grand jury. He now faces between 15 and 30 years in prison at sentencing, for which a date has not been set.

The girl’s parents first reported to the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office on June 30 that she had been sexually assaulted by a man from England. In interviews with the girl and later with Cheese, detectives learned that he and the girl had been communicating via the Internet for 14 months before he visited Maine, and the girl had sent him sexually explicit videos and images, according to court records.

Cheese arranged to meet the girl in Bangor, where he had sexual relations with her at a hotel from June 26 to 29, court records say. Detectives, who interviewed Cheese at the hotel afterward, seized his cell phone which contained a sexually explicit image of the girl taken at the hotel, according to an affidavit filed by a federal agent seeking the charge against Cheese.

Cheese was initially charged at the state level in Penobscot County with gross sexual assault and sexual exploitation of a minor. But prosecutors dismissed that case once Cheese was charged last month at the federal level.

Scott Dolan can be reached at 791-6304 or at:

sdolan@pressherald.com

Twitter: @scottddolan