BOSTON – A former Boy Scouts Leader was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boston for sexually exploiting children via a social media app.
Matthew Murphy, 25, of Whitman, was sentenced by U.S. Senior District Court Judge Paul J. Barbadoro for the District of New Hampshire to 33 years in prison and 10 years of supervised release. In January 2020, Murphy pleaded guilty to five counts of sexual exploitation of children.
The investigation began when law enforcement learned that Murphy, posing as a teenage girl, used a Snapchat account to extort nude photographs from a Massachusetts middle school boy. Agents obtained portions of the Snapchat account Murphy had created in the fake identity and uncovered evidence of similar extortion of dozens of other minors in the area. Court records state that Murphy used five separate Snapchat accounts to sexually exploit at least 15 children. Murphy knew some of the children and their families through his connection to local Boy Scouts troops.
Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell and Matthew B. Millhollin, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston, made the announcement today. The Whitman Police Department provided valuable assistance with the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne Paruti, Mendell’s Project Safe Childhood Coordinator and Deputy Chief of the Major Crimes Unit, prosecuted the case.
The case is brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In 2006, the Department of Justice created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov/.