News and Press Releases

former craven county school teacher pleads guilty to child pornography charge

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 16, 2012

RALEIGH – United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that in federal court today, MATTHEW METCALF, 40, of New Bern, North Carolina, pled guilty before United States Magistrate Judge William A. Webb to one count of producing child pornography over the internet in violation of Title 18 of the United States Code, §2251. 

Separate investigations led both the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) to the same IP address, which belonged to METCALF, a former fifth grade teacher in Craven County.  The SBI’s lead was based on information sent to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which had learned that an individual using the internet moniker “14yoVideoMaster” had uploaded images of apparent child pornography to YouTube.  Investigators later identified “14YoVideoMaster” as METCALF.  Separately, the FBI had developed a lead to another state in which another individual had been identified as uploading child pornography to YouTube.  Further investigation revealed that this individual was a child who METCALF, posing as a 14-year-old boy named “Cody” and using the “14yoVideoMaster” ID, had repeatedly encouraged to create and upload videos depicting the child engaged in sexually explicit conduct.  

Based upon this information, the SBI and FBI obtained and executed a search warrant at METCALF’s residence on April 28, 2011.  At the time of that search, METCALF admitted to using the “14yoVideoMaster” identity and to encouraging children to produce sexual images of themselves online.  METCALF further acknowledged having amassed a significant collection of child pornography unrelated to that he had sought to create.

United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker welcomed the news.  “Those who take pleasure in the sexual exploitation and abuse of children have no place in our community, let alone in our school system.  The safety of our children is our foremost responsibility.” Walker also praised the coordination between state and local law enforcement, two U.S. Attorney’s offices, and the Craven County District Attorney’s office, all of whom worked on the case.  “Online predators can endanger children anywhere.  They do not respect geographical boundary lines.  We cannot effectively combat the danger they present without the consistent cooperation of every level of federal, state, and local law enforcement.  This case is an example of coordination at its best.”

METCALF’s sentencing is expected to be held before Chief United States District Judge James C. Dever III, during the week of July 23, 2012.  METCALF faces up to 30 years imprisonment.

This case is part of the Project Safe Childhood initiative, a national program aimed at ensuring that criminals exploiting children are effectively prosecuted by making full use of all available law enforcement resources at every level.  For more information about this important national project, Project Safe Childhood, go to www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Investigation of the case was conducted by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Craven County District Attorney’s Office, and the United States Attorney’s Offices in the Eastern District of North Carolina and the Western District of Pennsylvania.  Assistant U. S. Attorney Jay Exum handled the case for the Government.

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