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Press Release

Jefferson County Man Accused of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor

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

ST. LOUIS – A man from Pevely, Missouri accused of recording his sexual abuse of a minor was arrested and appeared in federal court in St. Louis Tuesday.

Matthew Gamel, 36, was indicted November 8 on one count of sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of receipt of child pornography. He pleaded not guilty Tuesday.

The indictment accuses Gamel of coercing a minor into producing child pornography between Jan. 1, 2021 and Feb. 22, 2023, and receiving child pornography between Jan. 1, 2021 and Aug. 1, 2023. A motion seeking to have Gamel held in jail until trial says he recorded his sexual abuse of the minor when she was under the age of 14.

The sexual exploitation of a minor charge is punishable by 15 to 30 years in prison. The receipt of child pornography charge is punishable by five to 20 years in prison.

Charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt.  Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The Pevely Police Department and the FBI investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Hayes is prosecuting the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, 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 Department of Justice Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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 to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit


Robert Patrick, Public Affairs Officer,

Updated December 5, 2023

Project Safe Childhood