A New Hampshire man who pretended to be a female modeling rep and tricked underage girls into sending him nude photos has been sentenced to 25 years in prison and a lifetime of supervised release.
Matthew Felton, 38, pleaded guilty in January to producing child pornography. He was sentenced Wednesday in a New Hampshire federal court, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Felton, of Somersworth, posed as a woman from a modeling agency on social media accounts to persuade three girls from Canada to send him naked pictures. The girls ranged in age from 12 to 14 and Felton told them he'd get them contracts but needed to make sure they were comfortable in front of the camera, according to court documents.
Felton used the screen name “gnuymevul,” which is "luv em yung" backward. He also made up a 10-year-old daughter and said she also modeled naked, to gain the girls' confidence.
When the girls wouldn't do what he asked, documents said, he would threaten to post the pictures online.
“The defendant’s conduct here justified this long prison sentence,” U.S. Attorney Scott W. Murray said in a statement. “On-line (sic) predators such as this defendant cause substantial harm to their young victims and must be incarcerated in order to protect the public. We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to identify and prosecute those who use the Internet to victimize children in order to produce and distribute child pornography.”
Police found thousands of pictures on one of his accounts. Felton's lawyers said he "did a bad thing," but he wasn't a bad person, and he should only get a 15-year sentence. He could be rehabilitated, they said, according to the Associated Press. His lawyer also said Felton's upbringing was not easy and he suffered from substance abuse issues.
As part of his plea, he agreed to pay $5,000 in restitution to each girl.
[Photo: Hudson Police Department]