Adrian man, former Christian school teacher gets 24 years in prison on child porn charges

Matthew Thomas taught at Lenawee Christian School

A man wearing handcuffs. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

ADRIAN, Mich. – An Adrian man and former Christian school teacher has been sentenced to 24 years in federal prison on child porn charges.

Matthew D. Thomas, 46, of Adrian, admitted that over the course of three years, he convinced a minor victim to engage in sexually explicit conduct, according to authorities. He did so to create images of that conduct, officials said.

Thomas is a former teacher at Lenawee Christian School.

He admitted to possessing computer hard drives and cellphones that contained thousands of images and videos of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct, authorities said. Those photos included ones he had taken of clothed minors and altered to make the children appear naked, officials said.

“The acts of this defendant are truly reprehensible,” acting United States Attorney Saima Mohsin said. “This lengthy sentence protects the public and ensures that this defendant will no longer be able to victimize children. I commend the work of the FBI and Lenawee County Sheriff’s Office for their dedication to investigating this case.”

Thomas was sentenced on the charges of production of child pornography and possession of child pornography, Mohsin said.

“Crimes against children are reprehensible, especially when the perpetrator is a caretaker, teacher or another adult who is supposed to protect children from abuse,” special agent in charge Timothy Waters said. “The FBI considers the investigation and prosecution of predators like Mr. Thomas to be of the highest priority. Today’s sentence serves as a warning to others like him the FBI will aggressively pursue anyone who victimizes and exploits children.”


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