NYLON – A less-than-caring counselor for troubled youths and families was sentenced on Monday in federal court for repeated sexual contact he had with a troubled 15-year-old boy as a Youth Care Professional at the Hillside Children’s Center (HCC).
According to a press release from U.S. Attorney William Hochul, Jr., Matthew King, 31, of Rochester, was convicted of online enticement of a minor, and was sentenced for that conviction to 121 months in federal prison to be followed by 15 years of supervised release by U.S. District Court Judge Frank P. Geraci.
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 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 male.
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 in the Third Degree (Felony) and two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Minor (misdemeanor) in State Court related to his contact children under his care.
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.
PHOTO CAPTION: (Photo/Flickr.com)
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