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Press Release

Williamsburg Man Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography Charges

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

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Edward Joseph Matish III, 25, of Williamsburg, pleaded guilty yesterday to charges of accessing with intent to view child pornography involving a prepubescent minor.

According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Matish was a member of Playpen, a hidden website dedicated to the sharing of child pornography that operated on the Tor network from August 2014 until March 2015.  Between October 2014 and March 2015, Matish logged into Playpen and viewed content depicting the sexual exploitation of children. In December 2014, Matish wrote on the site that he used it to control his attraction to young girls, encouraging others like him to “[l]eave the touching to the brave souls willing to risk everything for our relief.” 

Matish was indicted by a federal grand jury on February 8 and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when sentenced on Jan. 30, 2017.  The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Jonathan F. Trimble, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by U.S. District Judge Henry Coke Morgan, Jr.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Kaitlin C. Gratton is prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:16cr16.

Updated October 19, 2016

Project Safe Childhood