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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 20, 2020

Former Newark High School Faculty Member Charged With Multiple Counts Of Child Pornography; Investigators Seeking Help From The Public

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Matthew Holland, 28 of Newark, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with production, receipt, and possession of child pornography, and online enticement of a minor. The charges carry a minimum penalty of 15 years in prison, a maximum penalty of life, and a $250,000 fine.

According to the complaint, on March 9, 2020, investigators with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office in Leesburg Virginia, received a report that Snapchat user “Tjohnson755” had engaged in sexually explicit conversations with a 14 year old minor. The complaint states that “Tjohnson755,” later identified as Matthew Holland, coerced the minor into sending him nude photographs. When the minor indicated that she did not wish to continue communicating, the defendant threatened to disseminate the minor’s photographs over the internet. Using this and other threats, Holland coerced the minor to continue to send him sexually explicit photographs and videos.

Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office detectives executed a search warrant on Holland’s “Tjohnson755” Snapchat account, and using IP information, located the defendant’s residence in Newark, NY. While analyzing the Snapchat account, investigators identified dozens of similar conversations with other suspected minors.

On March 9, 2020, with assistance from the Newark Police Department, and the Wayne County, NY, Sheriff’s Office, Loudoun County investigators executed a search warrant at Holland’s residence. A preliminary forensic analysis of computers and other digital items seized revealed hundreds of images and videos of child pornography, including child pornography depicting prepubescent minors, and child pornography that Holland produced from known and unknown minors using his “Tjohnson755” Snapchat account. During the execution of the search warrant, Holland indicated to investigators that he operated Illumination Images on W. Union Street in Newark, NY, where he had hidden cameras in the dressing room, in order to record customers, including minors, in various stages of undress. 

Following the execution of search warrant, Holland was arrested and extradited to Leesburg, VA, to face a state charges in that jurisdiction. The defendant made an initial appearance on the federal charges in United States District Court, Eastern District of Virginia, and is being held without bail, until he is transported to the Western District of New York, where the prosecution will be handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle P. Rossi.

According to the complaint, Holland recently resigned as a faculty member at Newark High School. The defendant was also previously employed at the YMCA in Canandaigua, NY, and is believed to have surreptitiously recorded individuals at that location. 
Anyone with information concerning Matthew Holland, Illumination Images, or Snapchat User “Tjohnson755,” is asked to contact Homeland Security Investigations at (716) 464-6070 or via email at hsibuffalotips@ice.dhs.gov.

“As an educator and photographer, the defendant not only had access to children but occupied a position of trust with respect to them,” stated U.S. Attorney Kennedy. “However, as reflected in the allegations set forth in the criminal complaint, his cruel and unrelenting betrayal of that trust is every parent’s nightmare. This case serves as a sobering reminder that we must remain vigilant in our effort to educate our children to the dangers they face and to pay attention to their online activities. Too often children lack the real world experience needed to discern the dangers lurking in the virtual world.”  

“The allegation of child exploitation by a trusted member of our community is reprehensible and demands swift action,” said Kevin Kelly, Homeland Security Investigations Buffalo Special Agent-in-Charge. “HSI is urging those with any information about the defendant to come forward to ensure justice for those that may have been victimized.”

The criminal complaint is the result of an investigation by the Loudoun County, VA, Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Michael L. Chapman; the Newark, NY Police Department, under the direction of Chief Mark Thoms; the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Berry Virts; the Canandaigua, NY Police Department, under the direction of Chief Stephen Hedworth; and Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly.   

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.  

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated July 20, 2020