FORT WORTH, Texas — A Fort Worth man has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison after he was accused of posing as a teenage boy in order to solicit sexually explicit images from underage girls, according to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
Matthew Ray Flores, 34, was charged in January 2022 and pleaded guilty in February to sexual exploitation of a child and possession of child pornography.
The DOJ said Flores posed as a 15-year-old under a different name to target 12-to 17-year-old girls on social media, according to court documents. In November 2019, Flores reached out to a 14-year-old girl online and arranged a visit to her home. He then climbed into her bedroom through a window since her family was home at the time, the DOJ said.
The girl was shocked at the age disparity and asked Flores to leave, according to federal officials. The DOJ said Flores demanded she send him sexually explicit images of herself in the days after that incident. The 14-year-old initially sent Flores partially-clothed photos, but eventually did send nude photos.
According to the DOJ, Flores then used these photos against the child, demanding she let him back into the home because he had “something to use against her.”
For the next three months, Flores threatened to send the nude photos to friends and neighbors and sell them online to “rapists” if she did not send him more photos, the DOJ said. Federal officials said Flores came back to the girl's home, equipped with a condom, and the girl told him “we aren’t having sex,” and pushed him back out the window.
“I went through something no little girl my age should have gone through. I was vulnerable and lonely, which made me an easy target,” the victim testified at Thursday’s sentencing hearing. “I’ll never be the same as I was before. I hated myself for so long, feeling so confused and alone because of him … I can finally say this with the strength I have now: He has no power over me. I will not allow him to hold me back anymore.”
At the sentencing hearing, prosecutors revealed that Flores did this same pattern to at least seven victims over the course of two years.
U.S. District Judge Reed C. O’Connor sentenced Flores on Thursday to 360 months in federal prison.
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