Leonard C Boyle, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and David Sundberg, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, today announced that MATTHEW X. SMITH, 28, of Stonington, has been charged by federal criminal complaint with child exploitation offenses.
Smith surrendered to law enforcement today. He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert M. Spector in New Haven and was released on a $100,000 bond.
As alleged in the complaint, on August 12, 2021, Smith, using the Kik social media application, initiated contact with an FBI Online Covert Employee (“OCE”) who was posing as a 14-year-old girl. Smith sent sexually explicit messages to the OCE, requested the OCE send him sexually explicit pictures, and discussed meeting the OCE to engage in sexual conduct. The Kik communication continued in the following days, and investigators also determined that Smith, using a different Kik user account, had engaged in sexually explicit exchanges with the OCE in 2020. Smith and the OCE agreed to meet on August 18, 2021.
On August 18, 2021, Smith was arrested by New London Police after he arrived at the agreed upon meeting location.
The complaint charges Smith with attempted transfer of obscene material to a minor, attempted receipt of child pornography, solicitation of child pornography and attempted enticement of a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity.
U.S. Attorney Boyle stressed that a criminal complaint is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the assistance of the New London Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patricia Stolfi Collins.
This prosecution is part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood Initiative, which is aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
To report cases of child exploitation, please visit www.cybertipline.com.