Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announced that Scott Matthew Yotka (47, Jacksonville) has pleaded guilty to two counts of producing photos and a video depicting himself while he sexually abused two young children. Yotka faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years, and up to 60 years, in federal prison and a potential life term of supervised release. Yotka was arrested on September 17, 2021, and has been detained since that time. His sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled.
According to court documents, on September 15, 2021, Yotka, using the name “Scottnjax44,” engaged in online private conversation using a particular social media application (app) with an undercover FBI task force officer in Washington, D.C. Yotka discussed his ongoing sexual exploitation of children in graphic detail, stated that he had access to two young children, and further that he enjoyed molesting them. Yotka sent the undercover officer several photos and a video depicting two prepubescent children being sexually abused by Yotka. The FBI traced this online messaging activity to Yotka’s residence and determined that the same “Scottnjax44” user account was also accessed from the offices of the City of Jacksonville located in the Ed Ball Building in downtown Jacksonville. FBI agents coordinated with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) and confirmed that Yotka was employed by JSO as a Police Emergency Communications Officer. On September 16, 2021, the FBI obtained a federal search warrant for Yotka’s residence.
During the early morning of September 17, 2021, the FBI, assisted by JSO, executed the search warrant and made contact with Yotka. During an interview, Yotka confirmed that he was the administrator of a chat room on the social media app for individuals interested in “incest fetishes, little kid things, [and] animal things.” Yotka admitted sending pornographic pictures of young children to another app user. He also admitted taking photos of these children as he molested them and used a particular object to sexually abuse them. Yotka stated “I know what I did” and “I’m not proud of what I did.” An FBI forensic examiner was able to recover from Yotka’s cellphone seven photos and a video depicting Yotka sexually abusing these two children.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Jacksonville and Washington, D.C. and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown.
This is another case brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the 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 individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.