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Press Release

Jefferson County Man Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison for Recording Sexual Abuse of a Minor

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

ST. LOUIS – U.S. District Judge Sarah E. Pitlyk on Wednesday sentenced a Pevely, Missouri man to 40 years in prison for recording his sexual abuse of a minor.

Matthew Gamel, 36, sexually abused the victim and recorded it on at least four occasions, he admitted in a guilty plea. The victim was under 14 years of age at the time. In addition to the recordings he made, Gamel possessed more than 1,700 media files containing child sexual abuse material that he obtained online. 

“We are pleased with today’s sentencing and appreciate the hard work and partnership with the Pevely Police Department to bring justice to the victim,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Chris Crocker of the FBI St. Louis Division. “We hope this will help with the process of healing the trauma the defendant unconscionably inflicted on a young vulnerable child.”

Gamel pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in St. Louis in February to one count of sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of receipt of child pornography.

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 May 22, 2024

Project Safe Childhood