ST. LOUIS — An east central Missouri man was indicted by a federal grand jury Thursday for allegedly attempting to entice minor boys to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing child pornography.
The indictment resulted from an investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and St. Charles County Cyber Crime Unit.
Matthew M. Hansen, 39, of Winfield, Mo., was indicted on eight felony counts of attempting to produce child pornography, and one felony count of possessing child pornography. The indictment alleges the crimes were committed between 2007 and 2012.
If convicted, each count of attempting to produce child pornography carries a possible penalty of 15 to 30 years in prison; possession carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and, or fines up to $250,000.
Charges set forth in an indictment are accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless proven guilty.
This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-843-5678.
HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.