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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, November 4, 2019

Youth Baseball Umpire Sentenced To Over 17 Years in Federal Prison for Distribution and Receipt of Child Pornography

Spokane, Washington Man Sentenced in Federal Court

Spokane – William D. Hyslop, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Matthew Lee Lane, age 48 of Spokane, Washington, was sentenced following conviction after a six-day jury trial in June 2019, of one count of Distribution of Child Pornography, and one count of Possession of Child Pornography. United States District Judge Rosanna Malouf Peterson sentenced Lane to a 210-month term of imprisonment, to be followed by a life term of court supervision after he is released from federal prison. Judge Peterson also required Lane to register as a sex offender upon completion of his prison sentence.

According to evidence introduced at trial, Lane downloaded thousands of images of child pornography via the internet, and then shredded nearly all of them in an effort to elude law enforcement. But he also transmitted images of child pornography to an undercover FBI agent over a Peer-to-Peer network, which led to a federal search warrant at his residence in North Spokane. Significant indicia of child pornography were recovered from his digital devices, including not only log files indicating that he had downloaded and deleted thousands of child pornography files, but memes involving the kidnapping of children and other forms of sexual exploitation of children. Lane was a youth baseball umpire at the time he was engaging in child exploitation conduct online.

At sentencing, Judge Peterson noted that Lane tried to shred all the evidence of his online child exploitation conduct, which demonstrated both consciousness of guilt and an effort to elude law enforcement. She specifically articulated the dangers of online child pornography, and the ways in which the victims are damaged by their images being traded on the Internet forever. In particular, Judge Peterson noted that Lane contributed to a market for additional abuse by engaging in the downloading and trading of child pornography images. Judge Peterson also noted Lane’s criminal history included a prior conviction for rape.

United States Attorney Hyslop said, “Child pornography victimizes the most innocent and vulnerable in our communities. By distributing child pornography, Matthew Lee Lane further victimized the children depicted in the horrifying images, and helped perpetuate the market for such images. This sentence should serve as a warning to people who may collect or trade child pornography, they will be actively pursued by federal, state and local law enforcement officers. The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington will continue to aggressively prosecute child exploitation crimes that occur in the Eastern District of Washington.”

This case was pursued as part of Project Safe Childhood (“PSC”), a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the United States Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals, who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. The PSC Initiative has five major components:

· Integrated federal, state, and local efforts to investigate and prosecute child exploitation cases, and to identify and rescue children;

· Participation of PSC partners in coordinated national initiatives;

· Increased federal enforcement in child pornography and enticement cases;

· Training of federal, state, and local law enforcement agents; and

· Community awareness and educational programs.

For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”

This case was investigated by the Spokane Resident Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was prosecuted by David M. Herzog, an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.  

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 
No. 2:18-CR-00028-RMP-1
Updated November 4, 2019