Stonington Man Pleads Guilty to Child Exploitation Offense

Stonington Man Pleads Guilty to Child Exploitation Offense

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that MATTHEW X. SMITH, 28, of Stonington, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Jeffery A. Meyer in New Haven to soliciting child pornography.

According to court documents and statements made in court, 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 on state charges after he arrived at the agreed upon meeting location.  He was charged by federal criminal complaint in February 2022.

Judge Meyer has scheduled sentencing for April 4, 2023, at which time Smith faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.  Smith is released on a $100,000 bond pending sentencing.

This matter has been 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.

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