DOJ: Lebanon, Va. man pleads guilty to using messaging app to distribute child porn

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ABINGDON, Va. (WJHL) – A Lebanon, Virginia man pleased guilty on Wednesday, June 1 to distributing child pornography with a popular messaging application.

According to a release from the Department of Justice, Matthew Thompson, 40, used the “KIK” app to communicate with people “he believed to be interested in trading images of child pornography.”

The DOJ reports that in June 2020, Thompson’s username “gbrown20201” was identified by law enforcement in Wisconsin as a person responsible for the distribution of child porn. Thompson had reportedly posted the explicit material to a KIK chatroom messaging board known to be visited by those interested in the illegal images.

The release states that a month later, Texas authorities discovered the same username was an “active member of two known child pornography chatgroups and serving as an administrator for one of the groups.”

According to the DOJ, the investigation in Texas found that Thompson had used the app to distribute at least nine illicit images between July 24-July 31. He had also received child pornography from other individuals.

Thompson pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of “knowingly distributing one or more visual depictions of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct that has been mailed or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.”

A sentencing for Thompson is scheduled for September 29, 2021. He faces a sentence of 60-72 months as part of his plea agreement, according to the release.

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