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Press Release

North Tonawanda Man Charged With Possession Of Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of New York

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

BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Matthew C. Ostrowski, 48, of North Tonawanda, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with possession of child pornography. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura A. Higgins, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, after receiving a report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the North Tonawanda Police Department executed a search warrant at the defendant’s North Tonawanda residence on December 17, 2019.

A total of seven digital items were seized during the search. A forensic examination recovered 12 image files of suspected child pornography on a desktop computer. In total, 4,204 image files of suspected child pornography, and an additional 8,523 image files of child exploitative material, were recovered on the desktop computer. A vast majority of the suspected child pornography files depict minors under the age of 12, approximately 101 images depict infants or toddlers, and another approximately 48 images depict violence against minors. In addition, Google searches for child pornography were also recovered. 

Following the execution of the search warrant, Ostrowski turned his iPhone over to investigators. A forensic examination of the defendant’s phone recovered text conversations that appeared to be sexually explicit conversations with minors. The first conversation spanned two days in January 2019. During this conversation, Ostrowski and a minor he believes is 16 years old discuss a sexual relationship the minor is purportedly having with his/her adult teacher. The minor corrected the defendant, telling him that he/she was 17 years old, not 16 as Ostrowski believed. In response, the defendant wrote, “Omg you where [sic] 14 When we started talking and play Im [sic] such a scumbag. A second sexually graphic conversation between Ostrowski and an unidentified individual occurred in March 2019. At one point in the conversation, the defendant references “your fertile teen age womb.”

On February 5, 2020, HSI and the North Tonawanda Police once again executed federal search warrants, seizing a new iPhone the defendant possessed, and a laptop computer. Following a forensic examination, no images of child pornography were found on the phone. However, 178 image files and five videos of suspected child pornography were found on the laptop computer. A vast majority of the suspected child pornography files depict minors under the age of 12.

The defendant made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy and was released.

The complaint is the result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly, and the North Tonawanda Police Department, under the direction of Chief Randy Szukala.

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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Updated August 26, 2020

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