United States Attorney Walt Green announced the conviction of Matthew Chaney Walker, 25, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for extorting numerous children over the internet for the purpose of producing and receiving child pornography.
This morning, before Chief U.S. District Court Judge Brian A. Jackson, Walker pleaded guilty to four counts of extortion, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 875(d); three counts of production of child pornography, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 2251(a) and 2; and three counts of receipt of child pornography, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2252A(a)(2); and he also agreed to forfeiture. Walker is scheduled to be sentenced on May 5, 2016.
In connection with his guilty plea, Walker admitted that, in 2014, he met young girls online for the purpose of sexually exploiting them. In order to lure his victims, Walker pretended to be a teenage girl and used different online screen names. During chats with his victims, Walker broached the topic of trading nude and sexually explicit images. To lower his victims’ inhibitions, Walker initiated sexually explicit conversations and sent sexually suggestive photographs of other young girls that he represented to be of himself. Once he obtained compromising pictures of his victims, Walker then demanded that the victims send him images even more graphic than those they had already sent to him. Walker threatened to send compromising pictures of the victims to their families, schools, friends, and the public should they refuse to comply with his demands. As a result of his conduct, Walkers’ victims created and sent child pornography to him.
U.S. Attorney Green stated: “The defendant used social media to target and sexually exploit young girls. This type of criminal conduct is an evolving and pernicious threat to our children. The devastating impact of this type of criminal conduct on our children, their families, and the community cannot be ignored. With an internet connection or smart phone, children of all ages are vulnerable to online predators, such as this defendant.”
This case is being handled jointly by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, and the United States Secret Service, with assistance from the Cyber Crime Unit and the Criminal Division of the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office; the Peterborough Police Service, a member of the Ontario Provincial Strategy to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation on the Internet; the Cheatham County, Tennessee Sheriff’s Office; the Naperville, Illinois Police Department; and the Ottawa County, Michigan Sheriff’s Office, among others.
This matter is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cam T. Le, who serves as the Project Safe Childhood Coordinator for the Middle District of Louisiana.
The investigation of this matter is ongoing. Law enforcement is attempting to confirm the identity of additional victims. Anyone who believes that they might have been a victim of Walker’s offenses is encouraged to contact the Baton Rouge Office of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), at 225-757-7770, extension 106, or the local HSI field office.
These federal charges are part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative by the U.S. Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. Click on the “Resources” tab for information about Internet safety education.