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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Battle Creek Man Sentenced To 30 Years In Federal Prison For Producing Child Pornography

          GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – Matthew John Andaluz, 44, of Battle Creek, Michigan was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for producing child pornography, Acting U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge announced today. In addition to the prison term, Chief U.S. District Judge Robert J. Jonker imposed a 10-year term of supervised release that will commence once Andaluz is released from imprisonment. Andaluz will also be required to register as a sexual offender.

          Andaluz pled guilty on June 7, 2017, and admitted that he had taken pornographic photographs of a ten-year-old child at his home in Calhoun County. He then circulated the images to others on the Internet. Copies of these images have been found in numerous other state and federal investigations throughout the United States. Federal agents traced these images back to Andaluz’s home late last year. Andaluz sexually abused the child repeatedly over a three-year period, created pictures of the abuse, and then distributed the pictures to others. The victim spoke at sentencing. She described the utter devastation that Andaluz caused to her life. She felt that she lost everything: her childhood, loved ones, and her home. She expressed her extraordinary pain, uncertainty, and anguish. The victim feared that she might never graduate from high school or ever be happy.

          In its sentencing memorandum, the U.S. Attorney’s Office argued in favor of the thirty-year sentence. "Children are amongst the most vulnerable of victims, and [the victim in this case] was particularly vulnerable to the defendant . . . . The child will bear the emotional and psychological scars from the defendant’s abuse and exploitation her entire life. A 30-year sentence is needed to reflect the gravity and seriousness of the defendant’s crimes, to promote respect for the law, and to justly punish the defendant."

          This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. The U.S. Attorney's Office, county prosecutor's offices, the Internet Crimes Against Children task force (ICAC), federal, state, and local law enforcement are working closely together to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children. The partners in Project Safe Childhood work to educate local communities about the dangers of online child exploitation, and to teach children how to protect themselves. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit the following web site: www.projectsafechildhood.gov. Individuals with information or concerns about possible child exploitation should contact local law enforcement officials.

          The Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean M. Lewis prosecuted the case.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated September 27, 2017