Williamsburg man pleads guilty to child pornography charges

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eastern-district-logoA federal court in Newport News announced Wednesday that a Williamsburg man pleaded guilty to child pornography charges following an FBI investigation into a child pornography website.

According to a news release from the Department of Justice Eastern District of Virginia, Edward Joseph Matish III, 25, of Williamsburg, pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges of accessing with intent to view child pornography involving a prepubescent minor.

According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Matish was a member of Playpen, a hidden website dedicated to the sharing of child pornography that operated on the Tor network from August 2014 until March 2015.  

Between October 2014 and March 2015, Matish logged into Playpen under the username “Broden” and viewed content depicting the sexual exploitation of children, according to court documents.

In December 2014, Matish wrote on the site that he used the site to control his attraction to young girls.

“If you cant control yourself, you should quit,” he wrote “I cant speak for everyone, but i come to this site to help me control myself I know im attracted to girls way too young to consider being with…This place is how I control myself and stop myself from doing something I know i’ll regret. Leave the touching to the brave souls willing to risk everything for our relief.”

Matish was indicted by a federal grand jury on Feb. 8 and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when sentenced on Jan. 30, 2017.  

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Jonathan F. Trimble, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement Wednesday after the plea was accepted by U.S. District Judge Henry Coke Morgan, Jr.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Kaitlin C. Gratton is prosecuting the case.