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Justice News

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

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Rochester Man Pleads Guilty to Online Enticement of a Minor


ROCHESTER, N.Y.--U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Matthew D. King, 31, of Rochester, N.Y., pleaded guilty to online enticement of a minor before U.S. District Court Judge Frank P. Geraci. The charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison with a mandatory minimum period of 120 months in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, or both.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig R. Gestring, who is handling the case, stated that in 2012, the defendant was employed as a Youth Care Professional at the Hillside Children’s Center (HCC), a provider of care for youth and families with a wide range of emotional, behavioral, or life-circumstance challenges. In this role, King had direct supervisory responsibility over at risk youth, including the victim who was a 15 year old child.

Between February and August 2012, the defendant came into contact with the child on a regular basis and would frequently discuss sexual topics with the victim. King eventually asked the child to engage in sexual activity, and in fact did engage in sexual activity with the child on several occasions at or around HCC. In August of 2012, the victim reported this activity to HCC staff after King was reassigned as his supervisor. HCC immediately notified the New York State Police who conducted an investigation.

The investigation revealed that the defendant and the child engaged in sexual conduct on multiple occasions. Investigators also learned that on July 23, 2012, King contacted the child over the internet using an online social networking site, to arrange a sexual meeting with the child later that day. The defendant used this online contact to entice the child to engage in sexual conduct, which then took place. State Police contacted Homeland Security Investigations for assistance.

Following the State Police investigation, the defendant was charged with and pled guilty to five counts of Criminal Sexual Act, 3rd Degree (Felony) and two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Minor (misdemeanor) in State Court related to his contact with the child.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

The plea is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Investigators with the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Scott Crosier, and Special Agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero.

Sentencing is set for October, 23, 2014 at 9:30 a.m. before Judge Geraci.
Updated December 2, 2014