Man Using Whisper App Sentenced for Enticing a Minor

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

ROANOKE, Va. – Matthew Benjamin Foltz, 29, of Cleveland, Ohio, used the messaging application “Whisper” to engage in sexually explicit conversations with someone he believed to be a 13-year-old girl from Virginia.

Foltz was sentenced today to 60 months in federal prison after pleading guilty earlier this year to one count of persuading, enticing, or coercing a person to travel in interstate commerce to engage in sexual activity.  

According to court documents, undercover law enforcement portrayed themselves as a 13-year-old girl living in Roanoke, Virginia, and began an online conversation on Whisper with a user named “Macabre_return,” later determined to be Foltz.

Several times during the course of his online conversation with law enforcement, Foltz expressed his desire to bring the 13-year-old girl back to his home in Ohio so that he could both impregnate her and teach her how to please him sexually. Foltz, who also identified himself by the alias “Michael Halliburton,” provided what he purported was a photograph of himself as well as airline flight information for a trip to Ohio.

United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh of the Western District of Virginia made the announcement.

The Department of Homeland Security – Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Christiansburg Police Department  investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Rachel B. Swartz prosecuted the case.