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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Michigan

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Former Ypsilanti Resident and Registered Sex Offender Sentenced to 35 Years in Federal Prison for Sexual Exploitation of Children

A former Ypsilanti man was sentenced today to 35 years in federal prison after having pleaded guilty to production of child pornography involving a three-year-old victim and committing an enumerated sex offense against a child while being subject to the sex offender register, announced United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade.  Following his time in prison, Vaughn will spend the rest of his life on supervised release. 

McQuade was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge David P. Gelios, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Detroit Division.

Matthew Leon Vaughn,33, was sentenced by United States District Judge Nancy G. Edumunds.   

According to court records, FBI agents in Alaska began investigating Vaughn as part of a group of individuals who obtained child pornography from a shared cloud storage system.  The Alaska investigation led to the identification of Vaughn, who at the time lived in Ypsilanti, Michigan.  The Detroit FBI searched Vaughn’s Ypsilanti apartment, recovering several pieces of computer media.  A forensic analysis of that computer media revealed a vast collection—more than 30,000 images and 3,000 videos—of child pornography.  An FBI agent in Detroit dug through Vaughn’s collection, eventually identifying child pornographic images Vaughn took inside that Ypsilanti apartment of a three-year-old girl that had been in Vaughn‘s care.  Vaughn was arrested by the FBI in Toledo, Ohio, where he had moved after the execution of the Ypsilanti search warrant.   

In 2003, Vaughn was convicted in state court for possession of child pornographic material.  As a result of that conviction, Vaughn had been a registered sex offender when he produced child pornography in Ypsilanti.   

“I continue to be astonished by the prevalence and severe nature of child exploitation cases." McQuade said. "We are very grateful for the dedication of agents and prosecutors who work to rescue children from the predators who abuse them." 

“As both an FBI Special Agent and father, I find the actions of this young victim’s family member to be of the most heinous one could imagine”, said David P. Gelios, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Division.  “Children are among the most vulnerable and innocent victims of crimes. These types of crimes are sometimes perpetrated by relatives, caretakers and others who are considered to be responsible adults in their lives. The FBI considers the investigation and prosecution of sexual predators who commit crimes against children, one of its top priorities”.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Alaska, Detroit, and Toledo, Ohio, and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kevin M. Mulcahy. 

Project Safe Childhood
Updated September 15, 2016