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Press Release

Local Man Sentenced on Federal Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Virginia
Matthew Cody Williamson Will Serve 15 Years in Federal Prison

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA – A man who previously lived in Albemarle and Fluvanna counties and is a registered sex offender for previous convictions regarding child pornography, was sentenced today in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Charlottesville on a pair of federal charges to which he recently pled guilty.

Matthew Cody Williamson, 28, of Palmyra, Virginia, pled guilty in 2015 to one count of using a means of interstate commerce (including a cell phone) to persuade, induce, entice or coerce an individual under the age of 18 to engage in sexual activity and one count of committing one or more specified felony offenses involving a minor while being a registered sex offender.

Today in District Court, Williamson was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison and a lifetime of supervision thereafter.

“Protecting children from being sexually exploited, especially being exploited by repeat offenders like in this case, is of paramount importance to the United States Attorney’s Office,” United States Attorney John P. Fishwick Jr. said today. “We must continue to work with our federal, state and local partners to investigate and prosecute these cases while also educating the community on how to keep kids safe online.”

According to evidence presented at previous hearings by Assistant United States Attorney Nancy S. Healey, Williamson, who has previous child pornography convictions and is a registered sex offender, came to the attention of law enforcement in 2012 when the mother of a 14-year-old Canadian boy found sexually explicit pictures and communications with an adult male, later identified as Williamson, on her son’s phone.

An examination of the phone revealed that Williamson and the boy had been communicating via the internet and that during the course of those communications the defendant had sent the minor-boy pictures of himself with an erect penis, videos of him masturbating and other explicit images and videos. Further examination showed that Williamson encouraged the boy to send explicit images of himself to Williamson, who at the time was living in Fluvanna County. Details of the communications clearly showed that Williamson was aware the boy he was communicating with was a minor.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Canada’s Southern Alberta Internet Child Exploitation Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Nancy S. Healey prosecuted the case for the United States.

Updated January 28, 2016

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