U.S. Atty: Whitman man posed as girl, solicited nude pics from middle schoolers

U.S. Atty: Whitman man posed as girl, solicited nude pics from middle schoolers

BOSTON — A 22-year-old Whitman man has been charged with two counts of child sexual exploitation.

Matthew Murphy was arrested and charged in federal court Tuesday afternoon, and was detained until a hearing scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

Murphy allegedly posted as a teenage girl and used a fake Snapchat account to obtain nude photographs from a middle school boy in Massachusetts.

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Federal agents say his Snapchat account turned up evidence of similar extortion involving other minors in the area, and court documents say he admitted to using the account and communicated with nearly 400 individuals, with most, if not all of them, as minors.

"Included in the search warrant return were more than 1,000 image files and more than 200 video files that were exchanged by or with the suspect account, many depicting sexually explicit material," documents say.

Court documents show conversations with the victim and the suspect's fraudulent account, with Murphy asking to watch someone shower in one instance.

Neighbors say they were shocked when investigators searched the home.

"Confused, and I didn't know what the hell was going on," one neighbor said. "I didn't know, they said they were looking for devices, so what goes through your head then?"

Neighbors said they never expected this type of incident from Murphy.

"Why would this happen?" a neighbor said. "Nicest kid you'd ever want to meet. It's sad."

Murphy was a volunteer for Boy Scouts of America and has been banned from participating in any future events.

Statement from Boy Scouts of America Mayflower Council CEO Bryan Feather:

"This individual's behavior is reprehensible and runs counter to everything for which the Boy Scouts of America stands. Upon learning of these reports, we removed this individual and prohibited him from any future participation in Scouting.
"Nothing is more important than the safety and protection of children in our programs – it is our top priority. The BSA strives to protect our youth members through a comprehensive program which includes as safeguards: a thorough screening process for adult leaders and staff, criminal background checks, requiring two or more adult leaders be present with youth at all times during Scouting activities, and the prompt mandatory reporting of any allegation or suspicion of abuse.
"The BSA offers unlimited counseling with a provider of their choice to any Scout, former Scout, or the family member of any Scout who suffered abuse during their time in Scouting. The BSA has a toll-free helpline (1-844-726-8871) and email contact address (scouts1st@scouting.org) for these sensitive matters."

Police are seeking to identify additional victims and are asking anyone with information to call 617-748-3274.

Sexual exploitation of children carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years and no more than 30 years in prison.