CONCORD — Matthew Felton, 38, of Somersworth, was sentenced to serve 25 years in federal prison followed by lifetime supervised release for production of child pornography, U.S. Attorney Scott W. Murray announced Wednesday.
According to court documents and statements made in court, the defendant used several social media accounts to disguise his identity, pose as a female representative of a modeling agency, and solicit sexually explicit photographs of young girls purportedly to help them secure modeling contracts. Specifically, he persuaded three girls (ages 12 through 14), all of whom were located in Canada, to photograph themselves engaging in sexually explicit conduct. The girls sent the photographs to the defendant over the internet.
Felton pleaded guilty Jan. 18.
“The defendant’s conduct here justified this long prison sentence,” said Murray. “Online predators such as this defendant cause substantial harm to their young victims and must be incarcerated in order to protect the public. We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to identify and prosecute those who use the internet to victimize children in order to produce and distribute child pornography.”
“This case was a great example of what strong coordination among federal, state, and local law enforcement and prosecutors can achieve in combating the scourge of child pornography and child endangerment from those who would engage in such depraved acts”, said Michael Shea, acting special agent-in-charge, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Boston. “HSI is committed to ensuring that justice is delivered against these type of predators.”
This matter was investigated by HSI, the New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and law enforcement authorities in Canada. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Georgiana L. Konesky.
In February 2006, the Department of Justice introduced Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.