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Press Release

Lakeland Man Sentenced To 5 Years In Federal Prison For Possessing Images And Videos Depicting The Sexual Abuse Of Infants

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Thomas P. Barber has sentenced Matthew Holton (25, Lakeland) to five years in federal prison for possessing images and videos depicting young children being sexually abused. Holton was also ordered to serve a lifetime term of supervised release, to register as a sex offender, and to pay $21,000 in restitution to child victims. Holton had pleaded guilty on June 4, 2021. 

According to court documents, agents with Homeland Security Investigations began investigating the internet upload of an image depicting the sexual abuse of a child between the ages of one and three, as reported by an internet service provider to the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children. Agents executed a search warrant at Holton’s residence and seized his iPhone that contained more than 1,000 images and 19 videos of child sexual abuse materials, including depictions of minors as young as one years old.

“Every time child pornography is viewed, it re-victimizes a young child,” said HSI Tampa acting Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jennifer Silliman. “This criminal will now face the consequences of his crimes.”

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ilyssa M. Spergel.

This is another case 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 Attorneys’ 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

Updated January 28, 2022

Project Safe Childhood