DETROIT – An Adrian man, and former teacher at Lenawee Christian School, was sentenced today to 24 years in federal prison on charges of production of child pornography and possession of child pornography, announced Acting United States Attorney Saima Mohsin.
Mohsin was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Timothy Waters, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Detroit Division.
Sentenced was Matthew D. Thomas, 46.
On May 26, Thomas pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography and production of child pornography. According to court records, Thomas admitted that over the course of 3 years he preyed upon a minor victim to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing images of such conduct. In addition, Thomas admitted to possessing computer hard drives and cell phones which contained several thousand images and video of prepubescent minors and minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, including photos that he had taken of clothed minors and then altering them to make the minors appeared naked.
“The acts of this defendant are truly reprehensible,” stated Acting United States Attorney Mohsin. “This lengthy sentence protects the public and ensures that this defendant will no longer be able to victimize children. I commend the work of the FBI and Lenawee County Sheriff’s Office for their dedication to investigating this case.”
“Crimes against children are reprehensible, especially when the perpetrator is a caretaker, teacher, or another adult who is supposed to protect children from abuse,” said Special Agent in Charge Timothy Waters of the FBI’s Detroit Division. “The FBI considers the investigation and prosecution of predators like Mr. Thomas to be of the highest priority. Today’s sentence serves as a warning to others like him the FBI will aggressively pursue anyone who victimizes and exploits children.”
This case was investigated by special agents with the FBI and the Lenawee County Sheriff’s Office. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Franzinger.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness & Prevention Month. Personally, everyone knows someone who has been affected by intimate-partner violence. Professionally, those who work in the criminal justice system continue to see rises in intimate partner violence despite tireless efforts to combat this epidemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused further strain on domestic violence both nationally and internationally. Risk factors have exponentially increased such as, unemployment, substance use, isolation at home, mental health issues, etc. As risk factors increase leading to rising violence; resources for victims were at a record low due to closures and staffing shortages. Unfortunately, pandemic or not, the violence doesn’t stop and neither do we.
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Advocates are also available to chat 24/7.
National Center for Victims of Crime
Resources to avoid scams:
Information for Victims in Large Cases
Heroin and Opioid Awareness