Bedford Man Sentenced to 15 Years for Attempted Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
CONCORD - Matthew Dion, 49, of Bedford, was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for attempted sexual exploitation of a minor, Acting United States Attorney John J. Farley announced today.
According to court documents and statements made in court, on or about April 19, 2020, the Bedford Police Department was contacted by a representative of an organization that facilitates foreign exchange students traveling to the United States and residing with American host families. The representative reported that a 15-year-old student, who resided in Dion’s home, believed he had been recorded by Dion while he showered. The child had found what he believed to be a camera hidden inside a device that looked like a pen in the bathroom he used in the residence. The Bedford Police responded to the residence and the child was removed from the home.
On April 28, 2020, officers executed a search warrant at Dion’s residence and seized various items including a Micro SD card from Dion’s vehicle. On the device, officers found images of the child taken in the bathroom as the child was getting out of the shower. At least one of these images was sexually explicit in that the focal point was the child’s genital area. A forensic examiner determined that the SD card had been reformatted on or about April 21, 2020, shortly after the Bedford police responded to Dion’s home. This is consistent with someone attempting to delete items from the device on that date.
Dion previously pleaded guilty on May 11, 2021. In addition to his prison sentence, Dion was sentenced to a 5-year term of supervised release, $30,000 in restitution to his victim, and a $5,000 assessment fee.
“This defendant’s sexual exploitation of a minor was reprehensible conduct that merited this serious prison sentence,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Farley. “By placing a hidden camera in a bathroom, the defendant stole the innocence of a young teen and betrayed the trust of the family that had agreed to let this foreign exchange student live in the defendant’s home. The law enforcement community in New Hampshire works hard to protect children from exploitation and this 15-year sentence should send a message that this type of criminal conduct will not be tolerated in the Granite State.”
“Homeland Security Investigations is pleased with today’s sentence. Attempting to sexually exploit a minor is always wrong, but doing so under the façade of participation in a foreign student exchange program only adds to the damaging impact of the crime in this case”, said Matthew B. Millhollin, Special Agent In Charge, Homeland Security Investigations, (HSI), Boston. “As a result of his corrupt victimization of a minor student, Dion also created unwarranted damage to the reputation of the foreign student exchange program by betraying the trust they had placed in him as a participant. This case could never have been successfully investigated and prosecuted without the close coordination and teamwork of the New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Bedford, New Hampshire Police Department, the Milford, New Hampshire Police Department and the Office of the U.S. Attorney for New Hampshire, whom we greatly value for their support.”
This matter was investigated by the Bedford Police Department, the New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Milford Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Georgiana L. MacDonald and Kasey Weiland.
In February 2006, the Department of Justice introduced Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices, 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 identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.