Charlton Man Pleads Guilty to Child Exploitation
BOSTON – A Charlton man pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Worcester in connection with soliciting hundreds of teenage girls on several social media platforms.
Matthew Clem, 31, pleaded guilty to an Information charging him with three counts of producing child pornography. U.S. District Court Judge Hillman scheduled sentencing for July 13, 2016. Clem also faces state child rape charges in the Worcester Superior Court.
Clem posed as a 15-16 year old boy on several social media platforms in order to meet teenage girls. After chatting with them, Clem proposed that they meet his 19 or 20 year old “cousin,” who Clem claimed was returning from active military duty. The “cousin,” however, was Clem himself who had never served in the military. Evidence on Clem’s cell phone revealed that he had solicited over 1,000 potential victims.
Clem admitted during the plea hearing that in October 2014 he requested and obtained nude photos of a teenage female victim through Kik Messenger, a web-based messaging service. Via text message, Clem specified poses and sexual acts for the victim to photograph and send to him.
From September 2011 to May 2012, Clem video-chatted with another female teenage victim over Skype, a web-based video messaging service. During the video chats, Clem had the victim remove her clothes and conduct sexual acts. Clem also met with the victim and engaged in sexual intercourse with her.
Clem also admitted to communicating with a third teenage victim through Kik Messenger in the spring and fall of 2014. Clem exchanged sexually graphic text messages and images with the teenager and met her on multiple occasions to engage in sexual intercourse.
The charging statute provides a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years and no greater than 30 years in prison, a minimum of five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 on each count. Pursuant to a plea agreement, Clem will be sentenced to a minimum of 15 years and no greater than 21 years in prison if the Court accepts the agreement. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early, Jr.; Gregory K. Null, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations; Colonel Richard D. McKeon, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; and Worcester Police Chief Gary Gemme, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Grady of Ortiz’s Worcester Branch Office.
The case is brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In 2006, the Department of Justice created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the DOJ’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, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov/.