CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire man who posed online as a modeling agency representative to get sexually explicit photos of young girls was sentenced Wednesday to 25 years in federal prison.
Matthew Felton, of Somersworth, pleaded guilty in January to child pornography charges. He used social media accounts for a year to convince three girls in Canada, ranging in age from 12 to 14, that he would help them secure modeling contracts if they sent the suggestive photos.
Felton, 38, used an account with the screen name "gnuymevul," which spells "luv em yung" backward. The defendant pretended to have a 10-year-old daughter who also did "nude modeling" to gain the children's trust.
The prosecution said Felton would threaten to post their pictures online when the girls did not comply with his requests. His defense team pointed out that there's no evidence he distributed the photographs to anyone or that he posted them online.
Felton agreed to pay $5,000 in restitution to each of the girls.
Evidence indicates he targeted more underage girls.
Police obtained thousands of images and videos from one of his accounts in 2015.
Felton allegedly attempted to reach into the pajama bottoms of a 7-year-old girl while he was intoxicated and was charged with a sex crime in 2005. He's serving prison time for breaking into his father's home and holding his stepmother at gunpoint with an airsoft gun.
Defense lawyers had asked for a 15-year sentence, saying Felton was a good person "who did a bad thing" and that he could be rehabilitated with the support of his family and community. They said he had a difficult upbringing and suffered from alcohol and drug abuse. His lawyer had no comment on the sentencing.
"Online predators such as this defendant cause substantial harm to their young victims and must be incarcerated to protect the public," U.S. Attorney Scott Murray said.