New York, NY(Law Firm Newswire) October 30, 2020 – A former high school faculty member in Newark, New York, was taken into federal custody for multiple child pornography charges. He was accused of using Snapchat to entice a 14-year-old minor, whose identity was not disclosed.
Matthew Holland, 28, was arrested earlier this year and charged with online enticement of a minor and production, receipt and possession of child pornography. The U.S. Department of Justice said he recently resigned as a faculty member at Newark High School.
The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia learned of a Snapchat user that had sexually explicit exchanges with a minor. “Tjohnson755” allegedly forced her to send him nude images and videos, threatening to publish them online when she tried to break off communication with him. Authorities later identified Holland as the Snapchat user. They also found the account had engaged in similar chats with other minors.
“Internet sex crimes have received a great deal of attention in the media. There has been a sharp focus on people using social media to attract minors for sex,” commented Peter Brill, a New York criminal defense lawyer with Brill Legal Group, who is not involved with the case. “Such crimes are being aggressively prosecuted by authorities in New York. While minors should be protected from online dangers at all costs, it is unfair to presume that an individual is guilty before all the evidence is thoroughly examined. Because of the prejudices involved, anyone who has been accused of an internet sex crime should speak to a defense attorney right away.”
The sheriff’s office obtained a search warrant for Holland’s Newark home with help from the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office and the Newark Police Department. Investigators seized computers and found hundreds of child pornography videos and photos. Holland allegedly produced some of it using his Snapchat account.
Holland said he owned a local photography business in Newark called Illumination Images. He is believed to have secretly recorded clients, including minors, using the dressing room. The defendant also previously worked at the YMCA in Canandaigua, where he allegedly recorded people without their knowledge. The YMCA released a statement saying that Holland had passed all mandatory background checks before being hired.
Holland appeared in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on the federal charges. He remained in custody without bail before being taken to the Western District of New York. He faces between 15 years to life in prison if convicted as well as $250,000 in fines.
Learn more at https://www.brill-legal.com/
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