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Press Release

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Man Sentenced to 13 Years in Federal Prison for Traveling with Intent to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct with a Minor

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Colorado

DENVER – Matthew Hornung, age 34, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge Raymond P. Moore to serve 156 months (13 years) in federal prison, followed by 10 years on supervised release, for traveling with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor, United States Attorney John Walsh and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge David A. Thompson announced.  The defendant, who appeared at the sentencing hearing in custody, was remanded at its conclusion.

Hornung was first charged by Criminal Complaint on March 28, 2015.  He waived his right to indictment by a federal grand jury, and instead allowed the government to proceed by Information on April 20, 2015.  He pled guilty before Judge Moore on June 8, 2015, and was sentenced today, October 26, 2015.

According to court documents, including the stipulated facts contained in the plea agreement, Hornung was arrested by HSI and the Colorado State Patrol on March 28, 2015, after driving from his home in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to Colorado with the intent of having sex with children.  The investigation was initiated after Hornung met an undercover special agent on line who was actually a special agent was using the persona of a single mother with children ages 10 and 14.  The defendant and the special agent (using the undercover person), planned for the defendant to travel to Colorado with the intent of him having sex with the children.  Hornung made it to Colorado, although his vehicle started to fail before he reached the agreed upon meeting place in Greeley.  He was arrested by HSI and the Colorado State Patrol after he approached the marked CSP car for vehicle assistance and it was confirmed that he traveled to Colorado to have sex with the minor children.

“Traveling across the country in hopes of engaging in illicit sex with a minor victim is an act that shock the conscious,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh.  “This is a grave federal offense, and as demonstrated by Judge Moore, carries a lengthy prison sentence.”

"This significant prison sentence reflects the serious criminal nature of child exploitation, and the resulting permanent trauma inflicted on its young and helpless victims," said David A. Thompson, special agent in charge of HSI Denver.  "Our HSI special agents are specially trained to identify, investigate and pursue prosecution against these child predators, and rescue their victims - and we take that responsibility very seriously.”

This case was investigated by HSI with assistance from the Colorado State Patrol.

The defendant was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Beth Gibson and Alecia Riewerts.

Updated October 26, 2015

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