Westerly man convicted of federal child porn charges

A jury found Matthew Wallace, 31, of Westerly guilty of two child pornography charges Wednesday following a trial in U.S. District Court in Bridgeport.

He faces a mandatory minimum five-year prison term and a maximum sentence of 20 years.

The jury had viewed a handful of child pornography images that were entered into evidence during the trial, which began Monday. The panel deliberated for just two hours before reaching the guilty verdict.

Wallace was living in
Ledyard when he was arrested in December 2010 by members of the FBI’s Computer Crime Task Force. He moved to Salt Pond Way in Westerly while his case was pending.

In May 2011, a federal grand jury indicted Wallace on one count of receiving child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography. He posted a $100,000 bond following his arrest and was monitored electronically and had a curfew while his case was pending.

Following the verdict, Judge Warren W. Eginton ordered that he be confined to home while awaiting his May 29 sentencing. The judge also scheduled a March 13, 2013, hearing to determine if Wallace will be allowed to remain free on bond or if he will be detained until his sentencing.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, on Jan. 19, 2010, a Milford police detective assigned to the Connecticut Child Exploitation Task Force logged into a peer-to-peer Internet file-sharing network and downloaded several images of child pornography from an Internet Protocol (“IP”) address assigned to Wallace at his Ledyard residence.

On May 28, 2010, law enforcement agents searched the home and seized computers and hard drives. Forensic examination of the seized items revealed more than 500 images and videos of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

The FBI and the Connecticut Child Exploitation Task Force investigated the case with assistance from Connecticut State Police and Ledyard Police. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ray Miller and Neeraj Patel.

— Karen Florin

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