Somersworth Man Pleads Guilty to Producing Child Pornography
CONCORD, N.H. - Matthew Felton, 38, of Somersworth, pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of production of child pornography, Acting United States Attorney John J. Farley announced today.
According to court documents and statements made in court, the defendant used several social media accounts to disguise his identity, pose as a female representative of a modeling agency, and solicit sexually explicit photographs of young girls purportedly to help them secure modeling contracts. Specifically, he persuaded three girls (ages 12 through 14), all of whom were located in Canada, to photograph themselves engaging in sexually explicit conduct. The girls sent the photographs to the defendant over the Internet.
Felton is scheduled to be sentenced on April 26, 2018.
“Those who produce child pornography cause untold amounts of damage to their youthful victims,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Farley. “Unfortunately, the widespread use of social media has increased the opportunities for young people to be victimized. While we will work closely with our law enforcement partners to prosecute those who rob children of their innocence by committing crimes like this, we also encourage parents to speak to their children about the need to be extremely cautious when communicating on social media.”
“This case was a great example of what strong coordination among federal, state, and local law enforcement and prosecutors can achieve in combatting the scourge of child pornography and child endangerment from those who would engage in such depraved acts”, said Michael Shea, Acting Special Agent–In -Charge, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Boston. “HSI is committed to ensuring that justice is delivered against these type of predators.”
This matter was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security - Homeland Security Investigations, the New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and law enforcement authorities in Canada. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Georgiana Konesky.
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.