Corpus Christi Man Gets Life in Prison for Multiple Sexual Exploitation Crimes
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - A 30-year-old Corpus Christi man has been ordered to federal prison for the rest of his life following his admission he sexually assaulted four minor females, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. Matthew Joseph Lucio pleaded guilty April 3, 2018, to two counts each of online solicitation and production of child pornography.
Today, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos imposed the sentence, further ordering Lucio to pay $10,000 in restitution.
Additional information was also presented today, including testimony that one adult and eight minor females had reported Lucio drugged and sexually assaulted them. The court heard that authorities discovered several photographs of what appeared to be young females on Lucio’s digital devices along with more than 24,000 pages of social media communications between him and other unidentified minor females that were sexual in nature. Other images included photographs of Lucio with narcotics and holding firearms. The court also heard from the victims’ relatives detailing how Lucio’s offenses has impacted the their lives and their families.
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.
Lucio was arrested on federal charges in February 2018 and has been in custody since that time where he will remain pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
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."