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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Former Fort Worth High School Teacher Admits to Felony Child Pornography Charge

FORT WORTH, Texas — Matthew Anthony Keller, 24, of Watauga, Texas, who, according to police reports, taught at Southwest High School in Fort Worth, Texas, appeared this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey L Cureton and pleaded guilty to one count of production of child pornography, announced John Parker, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.

Keller faces a statutory penalty of not less than 15 years and not more than 30 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release. Keller has been in custody since his arrest in July 2016 on a related federal complaint.  He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 2, 2017, by U.S. District Judge Terry R Means.

According to documents filed in the case, the investigation began when a parent of a 15-year-old child (MV1) discovered a relationship between MV1 and Keller and notified a police department in Macomb County, Michigan.  The parent was further concerned because it was discovered that Keller planned to fly from Texas to Michigan and possibly meet with MV1 for a sexual encounter.

When a search warrant was conducted at Keller’s residence in Watauga, law enforcement seized a computer from his bedroom.  A forensic analysis of that computer revealed the presence of a sexually explicit video of the minor victim.

The matter was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative, which was launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals, who sexually exploit children, and identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/.  For more information about internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/ and click on the tab “resources.”

ICE HSI, the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office, and the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office are investigating. Assistant U.S. Attorney A. Saleem is in charge of the prosecution.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated October 19, 2016