Grand Island Man Sentenced to 52 Years for Conspiracy to Produce Child Pornography and Production of Child Pornography
Acting United States Attorney Susan T. Lehr announced that Scott Matthew Simmons, 43, of Grand Island, Nebraska, was sentenced on July 6, 2023, in Lincoln, Nebraska, by Senior United States District Judge John M. Gerrard for one count of conspiracy to produce child pornography and one count of production of child pornography. Simmons was sentenced to 720 months in prison and will serve the remainder of his life on supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system. Simmons was additionally ordered to pay $11,250 in restitution as well as a $9,000 special assessment which will contribute to funds established for victims of these types of crimes.
This case initiated in July of 2022 with an investigation by the FBI in an attempt to identify children in a series of child pornography images which were being shared online since 2018. Through the investigation it was determined that the files were associated with Scott Simmons and Scott Meyer. Meyer is currently scheduled to be sentenced on October 2, 2023, regarding the same case.
On August 25, 2022, a search warrant was received to search Simmons’s and Meyer’s residence. During the search warrant, it was determined that the residence was where many of the child exploitation files were produced. Numerous electronic devices were seized from the residence. Meyer was at the residence during the execution of the search warrant. He agreed to be interviewed and admitted that he and Simmons had engaged in photographing and recording prepubescent boys in a sexually explicit manner. He admitted that these images and videos were produced at their residence and other locations to include various hotels. Four child victims were identified and interviewed by child advocate interviewers.
A forensic examination and review were completed of Simmons’s and Meyer’s personal cellphones. Both the phones contained more than 400 files of child pornography. A large majority of these files found on the phones were original productions of the minor victims in this case.
Simmons was previously convicted in 2007 for one count of sexual assault of a child in the 3rd degree in Saline County District Court, Nebraska. Simmons and Meyer met while both were serving sentences for child-sex offenses in Nebraska. Simmons and Meyer distributed the images and videos they produced of the four victims in this case on the Tor network using encrypted forms of email to further hide their identities. They additionally directly shared the files they created with at least one acquaintance they made while serving their prior sentences.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Donald J. Kleine, Chief, General Criminal Unit (402) 661-3700