Somerville sex offender convicted on child porn

Posted Jan. 27, 2011, at 10:33 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:31 a.m.

A convicted sex offender whose child pornography stash was discovered when police went to the Somerville home he shared with his mother to investigate an animal cruelty complaint was convicted on federal charges Thursday.

Matthew Clark, 59, was found guilty of two counts of possession of child pornography with a prior conviction for a sexual crime with a minor.

U.S. District Judge George Singal issued a 10-page document outlining his findings of facts after a three-day jury-waived trial in U.S. District Court in Portland.

After announcing his verdict, Singal ordered that Clark be detained pending sentencing.

A sentencing date has not been set.

Clark faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and a maximum of 20 years because of a 1983 conviction for unlawful sexual contact in state court. He was convicted of the felony in Knox County Superior Court, according to the Maine Sex Offender Registry. Information about his sentence and details of the crime were not available late Thursday.

Clark was a self-employed electrician living with his mother, Fern Clark, 80, of Somerville, in January 2008 when agents with the Maine Animal Welfare Program and deputies from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office came to the house with a search warrant to investigate an animal cruelty complaint.

In May 2009 Superior Court Justice Andrew Horton found the woman guilty of 15 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty and suspended a series of jail sentences, according to a previously published report. The judge suggested Fern Clark was not deliberately cruel but instead was overwhelmed by the number of animals she had accumulated.

She had at various times operated a kennel at the home, according to documents filed in federal court in her son’s case. Agents seized 66 live dogs, two dead dogs, four cats and a bird on Jan. 19, 2008, according to a previously published report.

In addition, investigators found evidence of child pornography, according to Singal’s findings, and returned the same day with a new search warrant. Videotapes and computers owned by Matthew Clark containing child pornography were seized.

Singal also found that Matthew Clark had used a camcorder to capture video as it was displayed on a computer monitor. The tape contained footage from the “Hotel and Dalmatians Series” and the “Devon Series.” Both have been identified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children as containing images of children engaged in sexual activity. In addition, Singal found that Matthew Clark had downloaded images and videos of child pornography onto his computers.

Similar articles:

ADVERTISEMENT | Grow your business
ADVERTISEMENT | Grow your business