A former volunteer firefighter has pleaded guilty to sending lewd photographs to teenage girls through a messaging app.
Brian David Saltsgaver, 49, of Leland, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Brunswick County Superior Court to charges of second-degree exploitation of a minor and indecent liberties with a minor. Brunswick County Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Ola Lewis sentenced him to 15-27 months in the N.C. Department of Corrections.
Saltsgaver sent and requested sexual obscenities to whom he thought were two girls, ages 14 and 15, over the KIK messenger app between July 2-27, according to Assistant District Attorney Jamie Turnage.
Some family members were concerned that Saltsgaver had some interest in minor females, Turnage said. Along with two detectives, the family member set up two separate user accounts portraying the teenage girls. Saltsgaver reportedly used his own name while sending messages to those accounts, Turnage said.
But according to Attorney Jessica Coleman, who represented Saltsgaver in the case, it wasn’t a family member but his ex-wife who set up the accounts. Coleman added that Saltsgaver had no prior criminal record. As a result of the case, Saltsgaver has also lost his certification to be a firefighter.
“They did a full search and nothing else was found,” Coleman said. “He’s basically lost everything and he is taking responsibility for this today.”
Turnage added that Saltsgaver’s actions were something that he did “day after day” for nearly a month, while being aware girls he was messaging were teens. Along with sending several messages to the girls, Saltsgaver also sent pictures of his “face and lower extremities” as well as a video of himself conducting a sexual act.
“This is a 49-year-old man, and a 14 year-old and a 15 year-old; that is a significant age difference,” Turnage said.
Saltsgaver was employed at the Leland Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department from Feb. 2, 2002 until July 27, when he resigned, according to Chief John Grimes. He was arrested by Brunswick County Sheriff’s deputies on July 27, originally charged with indecent liberties with a child, nine counts of felony dissemination of obscenity and four counts of first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, according to arrest warrants.
The State has dismissed nine counts of felonious disseminating obscenity, three counts of second-degree sex exploitation of a minor and one count of indecent liberties with a child as part of his plea agreement.
Lewis ordered Saltsgaver to register as a sex offender for 30 years upon release from prison.