Corpus Christi Man Convicted of Multiple Sexual Exploitation Crimes
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - A 30-year-old Corpus Christi man has admitted he sexually assaulted four minor females, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. Matthew Joseph Lucio pleaded guilty to two counts each of online solicitation and production of child pornography.
In November 2017, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) notified authorities that Lucio had solicited a minor female via an internet messaging application for sexual intercourse. Law enforcement identified the minor female who confirmed the abuse. Days later, law enforcement received another NCMEC report that Lucio solicited a different minor female via an internet messaging application for sexual intercourse. Authorities identified the second minor female who also confirmed the abuse.
Law enforcement obtained a search warrant for Lucio’s residence, after which agents seized several digital devices and located narcotics. Forensic analysis of the devices led to the discovery of videos depicting the sexual assault of two different minor females. Both minors were located and also confirmed the abuse. All four minor females reported that Lucio drugged them before they were sexually assaulted.
Today, the court also heard that law enforcement has identified an additional six minor females and two adult females that have reported Lucio sexually assaulted them.
U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos accepted the guilty plea today and set sentencing for Aug. 9, 2018. At that time, Lucio faces a minimum of 10 years and up to life in federal prison for the online solicitation of a minor charges and a minimum of 15 and up to 30 years for production of child pornography. Lucio also faces a possible $250,000 maximum fine on each charge. Upon completion of any prison term imposed, Lucio also faces a maximum of life on supervised release during which time the court can impose a number of special conditions designed to protect children and prohibit the use of the internet.
Lucio was arrested on federal charges in February 2018 and has been in custody since that time where he will remain pending his sentencing hearing.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, Corpus Christi Police Department—Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Nueces County District Attorney’s Office conducted the investigation with the assistance of NCMEC.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Hugo R. Martinez is prosecuting the case, which 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 the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."