Former Goffstown youth sports coach pleads guilty to child porn charges

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Riehl

CONCORD, N.H. – Matthew Riehl, 25, of Goffstown, New Hampshire, pleaded guilty on Oct. 24 to producing child pornography.

According to court documents and statements in court, Riehl coached youth sports teams in Goffstown. While posing as a teenage girl, he contacted his victims using social media accounts and persuaded his victims to take photographs of themselves and send the photographs to him.  When some of the victims sent pictures that were not sexually explicit, Riehl worked to convince them to take photographs showing more sexually explicit conduct. In some instances, Riehl was able to coerce the victims to send explicit photographs by threatening to post on social media photographs that the victims previously had sent to him. 

On August 31, 2016, a search warrant was executed at the defendant’s residence in Goffstown and Riehl’s cell phone was seized.  A forensic examination of the phone by the New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force revealed approximately 500 photographs of minor boys, in various states of dress, including examples of child pornography.  Numerous photographs depicted individuals who were members of teams that Riehl had coached.

Riehl will be sentenced on January 31, 2018. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years in prison. 

“This case presents an important reminder that young people need to be cautious in their use of social media,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Farley.  “Unfortunately, some individuals adopt false identities on the Internet in order to manipulate and exploit their young victims.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners will work aggressively to investigate and prosecute those who seek to exploit young people.  We also encourage parents to speak to their children about the dangers that lurk on the Internet.” 

“This should serve as yet another warning to child predators who think they can hide behind the anonymity of the Internet,” said Special Agent in Charge Matthew Etre of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Boston.  “Our message is clear, ‘We can see what you do; and we have the capability to find you, regardless of where you choose to hide.’ HSI, and our local and state partners, remain dedicated to unmasking Internet child predators and bringing them to justice.”

“This investigation is another fine example of the collaborative efforts of state, local and federal law enforcement agencies working to bring to justice those who prey on society’s most innocent victims,” said Detective Sergeant, Thomas A. Grella, Commander, New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. 

The Goffstown Police Department would like to thank everyone involved in this case for coming forward and providing crucial information that has been instrumental in seeing this case come to a successful conclusion. 

This case was investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the Goffstown Police Department, the Hillsborough County Attorney’s Office, and the New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which includes members of several other police departments.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Arnold Huftalen and Georgiana Konesky.

In February 2006, the Department of Justice introduced Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse.  Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.