Maine detains Indiana man in child-porn case

Posted Aug. 09, 2010, at 12:52 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:34 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A federal judge on Monday ordered that an Indiana man charged in Tennessee with producing child pornography be detained temporarily.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Margaret Kravchuk scheduled a bail hearing for Matthew DeHart, 26, of Newburgh, Ind., for 3 p.m. Wednesday. He made his first appearance Monday in U.S. District Court.

DeHart was arrested Thursday in Washington County, according to court documents. The circumstances surrounding his arrest were not made public, but DeHart told the judge he had been attending school in Canada. The institution he has been attending was not named.

He appeared in court Monday unshaven, wearing a gray T-shirt over a white T-shirt. DeHart also wore dark blue sweatpants and black sneakers.

DeHart, according to court documents, met two teenage boys who live in Franklin, Tenn., on the Internet between Jan. 1 and Aug. 31, 2008, through the online game World of Warcraft. DeHart allegedly received pornographic videos and photos the boys made of themselves at his request.

In addition, DeHart is accused of posing as a teenage girl to get other underage boys to send him pornographic photos and videos of themselves.

The Indiana man came to the attention of law enforcement in January 2009 when a parent of one of the boys discovered sexual explicit photographs on the younger boy’s cell phone. The boys were 14 and 16 when the investigation began, according to court documents.

Both boys allegedly told investigators that DeHart asked each of them to send him a picture of their genitals and also to e-mail the photos to an account he said belonged to some teenage girls in Indiana. The defendant, according to court documents, on several occasions drove the more than 175 miles from his home on the Indiana-Tennessee border to meet the boys, who live in a suburb south of Nashville.

DeHart allegedly brought them gifts and on at least one occasion provided one of the boys with beer and Adderall, a prescription drug used to treat attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder. The defendant also took one of the boys, who skipped school to meet DeHart, to a shooting range and provided the teenager with a gun, ac-cording to court documents.

A search warrant was executed at DeHart’s residence in January 2010, according to court documents. The complaint was filed in federal court in Bangor and Nashville on Friday.

If convicted of production of pornography, DeHart faces a minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 25 years in federal prison.

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