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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Indiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 17, 2022

Georgia Man Sentenced to 30 Years in Federal Prison for Sexually Exploiting Five Children in Indiana and South Carolina

INDIANAPOLIS – Matthew O. Walker, 28, of Augusta, Georgia, was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to the sexual exploitation of a child.

According to court documents, Walker sexually exploited 3 Indiana children and 2 children from South Carolina. Walker first came to the attention of federal authorities in the fall of 2019, when Walker had engaged in sexually explicit Snapchat communications with two minor boys in the Southern District of Indiana. Walker misrepresented himself on Snapchat as a teenage girl, persuading minors to create and send him images and videos of themselves engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Walker threatened the minors that he would distribute these images and videos of these minors to their respective families if they did not do as he instructed.

Federal investigators discovered that Walker was living in Georgia. With assistance from law enforcement there, a search warrant was executed at Walker’s residence. Evidence was seized and Walker admitted to communication with multiple underage boys online. Walker also admitted to receiving child sexual abuse material through Snapchat and other social media platforms. Walker pled guilty to sexual exploitation of a child in a plea that incorporated his criminal conduct against three Indiana children and others.

Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana and FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Herbert J. Stapleton made the announcement.

The FBI’s Violent Crimes Against Children Task Force investigated the case. The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department also provided valuable assistance. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge James R. Sweeney II. As part of the sentence, Judge Sweeney ordered that Walker be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for 20 years following his release from federal prison and ordered Walker to pay $10,000 in restitution to each of the minor victims. Walker must also register as a sex offender wherever he lives, works, or goes to school, as required by law.

U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristina M. Korobov who prosecuted this case.

In fiscal year 2019, the Southern District of Indiana was second out of the 94 federal districts in the country for the number of child sexual exploitation cases prosecuted.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated March 17, 2022