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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maryland

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 14, 2021

Baltimore Man Facing Federal Indictment for Using Female Aliases on Social Media and Messaging Applications to Entice Boys to Send Him Sexually Explicit Images and Videos

Two Victims Identified in the Indictment, but Law Enforcement Believes There May be More Victims

Baltimore, Maryland – A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging Matthew K. Walsh, age 23, of Baltimore, Maryland, for the federal charges of sexual exploitation of a minor; coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct; and receipt of child pornography.  The indictment was returned on May 12, 2021, and unsealed today upon Walsh’s arrest.  Walsh had an initial appearance today in U.S. District Court in Baltimore before U.S. Magistrate Judge Boardman.  Walsh consented to detention pending a detention hearing which will be held on May 20, 2021 at 11:30 a.m.

The indictment was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner; Acting Special Agent in Charge Rachel Byrd of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department.

According to the six-count indictment, beginning no later than November 2019, Walsh used text messaging, an internet-based social media company, and a messaging application for mobile devices to meet and communicate online with minor males.  The indictment alleges that Walsh often posed as a female in these communications, using the aliases “Linamarie” or “Mariel” on social media and “lslow6_5” on the messaging application.  Walsh allegedly used his online female aliases to cause and attempt to cause minor males to produce sexually explicit images of themselves and send those images to Walsh.

Specifically, the indictment alleges that from November 4, 2019 through December 23, 2020, Walsh, using his online female aliases, enticed and coerced Victim 1, who was a 14 to 15-year-old minor male, to produce a series of sexually explicit visual depictions of Victim 1, including several video files, which Victim 1 sent to Walsh.  Further, the indictment alleges that from March 8, 2020 through March 12, 2020, Walsh, using his online female aliases, enticed and coerced Victim 2, a 15-year-old minor male, to produce a series of sexually explicit visual depictions of himself, which he sent to Walsh.

If you believe you or a loved one was a victim of Walsh please contact the FBI Baltimore Field Office at (410) 265-8080.

To report online child sexual exploitation, use the electronic Cyber Tip Line or call 1-800-843-5678. The Cyber Tip Line is operated by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in partnership with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies.

If convicted, Walsh faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison and a maximum sentence of 30 years for each of two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor; a maximum sentence of life in federal prison for each of two counts of enticement and coercion of a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct; and a mandatory minimum of five years in federal prison and a maximum sentence of 20 years for each of two counts of receipt of child pornography.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. 

An indictment is not a finding of guilt.  An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings. 

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.  For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc and click on the "Resources" tab on the left of the page.         

Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner commended the FBI and Baltimore Police Department for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Lenzner thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Judson T. Mihok, who is prosecuting the federal case.

For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md/project-safe-childhood and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Marcia Murphy (410) 209-4854
Updated May 14, 2021