A Vinton County Grand Jury has returned a 73-count indictment against a western Vinton County man who stands accused of engaging in multiple incidents of child pornography and also stealing money from other victims by fraudulently posing as a music promoter.
Matthew Young of 27485 State Route 327, Londonderry, is charged with 44 counts of Pandering Sexually Oriented Material Involving A Minor, which is a second-degree felony. He is also charged with a second-degree felony charge of Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity, which is connected to a total of 14 felony counts of Telecommunications Fraud and 14 felony and misdemeanor counts of Theft.
According to a news release issued Thursday afternoon, April 13, by Vinton County Prosecuting Attorney Trecia Kimes-Brown, the indictment stems from a consumer-fraud investigation launched in 2014 by the Economic Crimes Unit of the Consumer Protection Section of the Ohio Attorney General's Office by Agent Gregory Patton. This resulted in a search warrant being executed on Young's residence in Vinton County near Londonderry.
During that search, electronic devices were seized. During the analysis of those seized devices by the Cyber Crimes division of the Ohio Bureau of Investigation and Identification (BCII), agents uncovered "a large amount of child pornography."
Kimes-Brown told The Telegram the two parts of the case appear to be totally unrelated and that the investigation involving the alleged telecommunications fraud and theft led to the discovery of the alleged child-pornography activities.
Kimes-Brown recounted that the Ohio Attorney General's Office received three different complaints in 2013 against Young, which resulted in an investigation being initiated. Allegedly, Young portrayed himself through online communications as a music promoter to the victims. He accepted payments, but provided no services, which led to the complaints. The 12 alleged victims included in the indictment were reportedly from all over the world, but Kimes-Brown said none were from Vinton County.
When investigators executed an initial search warrant at Young's residence to recover evidence in the alleged telecommunications thefts, this led to the discovery of information regarding the child-pornography activities. Another search warrant was obtained and executed, which led to the 44 counts of Pandering Sexually Oriented Material Involving A Minor.
Kimes-Brown explained to The Telegram that Young is accused of possessing and reproducing the child-pornography material, not actually creating it. Once again, Kimes-Brown said none of the known victims were from Vinton County and no connections at all were found between the victims of telecommunications thefts and the child pornography.
BCII Agents, along with Agent Patton from the Ohio Attorney General's Office Consumer Protection Section, with the assistance of Lt. William Bowden of the Vinton County Sheriff's Office, arrested Young without incident on Wednesday, April 12. He is currently incarcerated in the Southeast Ohio Regional Jail.
The Vinton County Prosecutor's Office wishes to thank Agent Gregory Patton and Agent Brandon Hoyt for their assistance during this investigation.
Young will be arraigned in the Vinton County Court of Common Pleas this Monday, April 17. At that time, his bond will be determined as well as the status of his legal counsel.