Burbank man given 15 years for child pornography, child assault

Burbank man given 15 years for child pornography, child assault
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Burbank man given 15 years for child pornography, child assault

Suburban Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Sharing Child Pornography and Sexually Assaulting a Minor

A suburban man has been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for sharing sexually explicit images of children and sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl he met online.

Using the screen name “darkangle25,” Matthew Smith, 51, of Burbank, Illinois shared sexually explicit images and videos of children on the Kik online messaging application.  Some of the images depicted underage girls being sexually abused.  Smith also sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl in 2015 after chatting online and luring her to his home.

Smith pleaded guilty earlier this year to federal child pornography charges.  U.S. District Judge Charles R. Norgle on Aug. 30, 2019, sentenced Smith to 15 years in prison, to be followed by ten years of supervised release.

Police Squad Car, courtesy of Wikipedia

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The sentence was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and James M. Gibbons, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.  The Burbank Police Department provided valuable assistance.

“This sentence underscores HSI’s commitment to protecting the most vulnerable members of our society — our children,” said SAC Gibbons.  “We will continue to work in partnership with fellow law enforcement agencies and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to bring those engaged in child exploitation to justice.”

Although many of the children depicted in the images and videos have not been identified, 17 of the victims submitted impact statements to the Court prior to sentencing.  In the statements, the victims detailed the lasting nature of the conduct by Smith and others who shared the images and videos online.

“By downloading [child pornography], storing, and trading it with others, he continued the victimization of children who had been filmed or photographed engaging in acts no child should be part of,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Hernandez argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum.  “The 17 victim impact statements submitted to the Court speak to the incalculable damage caused to those young victims of child pornography.”

Smith met the 13-year-old victim online and spent two years grooming her via Kik, text message, and phone calls, before enticing her to his apartment.  As detailed in victim impact statements submitted by the victim’s family to the Court, the girl’s disappearance caused her family immense suffering and prompted them to file a missing person report on her behalf.

If you believe you are a victim of sexual exploitation, you are encouraged to contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children by logging on to www.missingkids.com/home or by calling 1-800-843-5678.  The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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