Kane County Man Sentenced to 17 Years in Federal Prison for Producing and Sharing Child Pornography
CHICAGO — A Kane County man has been sentenced to 17 years in federal prison for producing and sharing images of child pornography.
MATTHEW BROWN, 31, of Montgomery, took photographs of a prepubescent minor and shared them with users on the Kik online messaging application. Brown also possessed more than 240 other photographs and videos of child pornography.
Brown pleaded guilty last year to federal charges of production and transportation of child pornography. In addition to the 17-year prison term, U.S. District Judge Sara L. Ellis on Thursday ordered Brown to pay $80,292 in restitution to the known victims depicted in the pornographic images and videos.
The sentence was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Larry L. Lapp, acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the FBI. The Cook County Sheriff’s Office provided valuable assistance.
“Defendant preyed upon the most innocent and vulnerable of victims – children,” Assistant U.S. Attorney John D. Mitchell argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum. “These images are shocking and display the horrific exploitation of young children.”
According to evidence in the case, Brown accessed the Kik messaging application under the screennames “MaddMatter” and “ratsoff2u.” He frequented Kik chatrooms that were set up for the purpose of exchanging child pornography. Unbeknownst to Brown, one of the Kik users with whom he began communicating in 2015 was an undercover law enforcement officer. Brown sent the undercover officer several images and videos of child pornography, including a sexually explicit photograph of a prepubescent minor that Brown had personally taken.
The images and videos were submitted to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which determined that Brown possessed two series of child pornography. Authorities have been able to identify some of the children who were exploited in the images and videos shared by Brown and others. Some of the victims submitted statements to the Court in advance of Brown’s sentencing, detailing the harm caused by the production, distribution and possession of their images by individuals like Brown.
If you believe you are a victim of sexual exploitation, you are encouraged to call NCMEC at 1-800-843-5678, or log on to http://www.missingkids.com. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.