FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 6, 2014
For Information Contact:
Maryland Man Pleads Guilty to Traveling
Into the District of Columbia to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct
With a Minor and Possession of Child Pornography
WASHINGTON – Matthew Scanlon, 31, of Pasadena, Md., pled guilty today to charges of traveling interstate to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor and possession of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr., Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
Scanlon entered the guilty plea in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The Honorable Rudolph Contreras is to sentence him on May 21, 2014. Scanlon faces a statutory maximum sentence of 30 years of imprisonment for traveling interstate to engage in illicit sexual conduct and a maximum of 20 years for possession of child pornography, as well as potential fines.
According to the government's evidence, on July 10, 2013, Scanlon contacted an undercover officer with the FBI's Child Exploitation Task Force, who had posted an ad on a social network site. Over the next few days, Scanlon engaged in e-mail and text message conversations with the undercover officer whom the defendant believed was the father of an under-aged girl. During this period of time, Scanlon arranged with the undercover officer to meet for the purpose of engaging in sexual acts with the child.
During the course of their communications, Scanlon also sent the undercover officer one still image and two videos of child pornography. On July 16, 2013, Scanlon traveled from Maryland to a pre-arranged meeting place in Washington, D.C. When he arrived at the meeting place, he was arrested. Pursuant to a search of an external hard drive seized from the defendant’s residence, law enforcement recovered approximately 225 additional images of child pornography.
This case was brought as part of the Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood initiative and investigated by the FBI's Child Exploitation Task Force, which includes members of the FBI's Washington Field Office and MPD. Project Safe Childhood is a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute those who exploit children, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov
In announcing the guilty plea, U.S. Attorney Machen, Assistant Director Parlave and Chief Lanier praised the work of the MPD Detectives and Special Agents of the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force. They also commended Assistant U.S. Attorney Ari Redbord, who is prosecuting the case.