Man’s Sexual-Exploitation Charges – Enticed Girls, Groomed to Engage in Masochistic-Abuse Acts
SOUTH BAY – Office of the United States Attorneys/The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced charges filed for a man who was found luring girls with mental-health issues to mutilate themselves, then become his “slave” or “pet”. Matthew Christian Locher (31), was issued a search warrant that was unsealed after his arrest last month, stating that Locher “enticed, encouraged, and instructed the victims to produce child pornography and child sexual abuse material in the form of
sexually explicit images and video recordings of themselves to send to Locher over the internet, including through the use of Discord,” a voice and text chat platform.”
Prosecutors described in court how the former Redondo Beach Resident targeted girls on the internet. His sexual gratification was the goal – as he enticed them to engage in masochistic abuse and then photograph it.
“Locher was ordered detained Tuesday afternoon during an arraignment in United States District Court” said the DOJ/U.S. Attorneys Office. ” During that arraignment, Locher pleaded not guilty to an eight- count indictment that charges him with sexual exploitation and attempted sexual exploitation of a child for the purpose of producing a sexually explicit visual depiction, enticement and attempted enticement of a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity, and receipt of child pornography.”
His insidious acts allegedly included enticing at 12-year-old victim to plot setting her family’s Ohio home ablaze, according to prosecutors. The unsuccessful attempt to kill her parents was encouraged by Locher, who’d enticed her to run away to California for engaging in illegal sexual activity.
Court documents and statements in court outlined his targeting girls suffering from mental health issues, including depression, suicidal thoughts, and anorexia. The indictment alleged, “Locher enticed two of the minor victims to send Locher images of themselves committing acts of self-harm, which included cutting their breasts,” and with one of the ID’d victims – “allegedly used racial epithets to devalue the victim and entice her to self-mutilate.”
Locher’s various screen names, including “The Hat,” “MattheHat,” “HeyThere,” and “Shark” – led to his arrest on 01/10/2022 in Indianapolis. Prior to that, the federal search warrant executed at his residence had spurred him to move to iIndiana last summer.
Federal authorities transported Locher to California, for his first court appearance – for arraignment – earlier this week. The FBI is investigating this matter – which has layers of extensive federal sentencing: “If convicted,” said DOJ, “Locher would face up to life in federal prison, and a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment, for each of four counts of enticement and attempted enticement of a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity. The three counts of sexual exploitation and attempted sexual exploitation of a child in the indictment each carry a maximum statutory penalty of 30 years in federal prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment. The remaining charge of receipt of child pornography carries a potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison.”
Prosecutor in this case is Assistant United States Attorney Chelsea Norell of the Violent and Organized Crime Section. With the trial set for April 19th, Locher is being held without bond.