BOSTON — A federal grand jury indicted a Taunton man Wednesday on charges of sexual exploitation of children and child pornography distribution, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Cody Mercure, 24, was charged with sexual exploitation of children and distribution of child pornography after allegedly engaging in and recording sexually explicit conduct with a toddler between Dec. 29, 2020 and April 3, 2021.

Mercure also allegedly distributed child pornography in January.

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He faces a sentence of 15-30 years in prison, up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine for the exploitation charge.

Meanwhile the child pornography distribution charge could see him sentenced to at least five and up to 20 years in prison, up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.

Mercure is currently in state custody and will appear in federal court at a later date, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The case was brought as part of the Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from exploitation and abuse.

For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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