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Greensburg man sentenced to 25 years for child sexual exploitation

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Matthew Hostetler, 26, of Greensburg, Indiana, was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to sexual exploitation of a minor.

According to court documents, on January 16, 2020, a Winnebago County, Oklahoma Sheriff’s Department investigation uncovered Matthew Hostetler’s involvement in a Kik Messenger group chat created for individuals interested in child sexual abuse material. Hostetler hid behind the username “WARRIORHEART1997” and sent graphic sexual abuse videos and images of a then 11-year-old girl he referred to as “Lola.”

On April 16, 2021, FBI agent and Greensburg Police Department Officers executed a search warrant at Hostetler’s Indiana home and seized his cell phone. Many of the images Hostetler traded over Kik were coerced from the minor via Snapchat. Hostetler bragged to other members of the group chat that “it took two months to get to this point with her (Lola), you gotta be patient and kind and sweet,” and “she’s in love with me. She literally jumps to do what I ask.”

“Lola told investigators that she met Hostetler on the internet. She told him that she was 13 years old and lived with her grandparents in Oklahoma. Hostetler instructed her not to tell her grandparents she was talking to him, or she would get in trouble. “Lola” stated that Hostetler routinely threatened her if she didn’t send him sexually explicit pictures and videos. Furthermore, Hostetler coached the 11-year-old on where to touch herself during the videos.

“It has long been the case that many pedophiles like this defendant use online platforms such as Kik and Snapchat to prey on children, and even preteens,” said United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, Zachary A. Myers. “These criminals use lies, manipulation, and threats to sexually exploit children with utter disregard for the lasting trauma they inflict. I urge parents and guardians to talk to the children in their lives about what they’re doing online and make sure they have trusted adults they can turn to for help. I commend the FBI, the Winnebago County (Oklahoma) Sheriff’s Department, and the Greensburg Police Department for their work to seek justice for this victim and protect other children from this online predator.”

The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Court Judge James Sweeney. Judge Sweeney also ordered that Hostetler be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for 30 years following his release from prison. Hostetler must also register as a sex offender where he lives, works, and goes to school.

If you are a victim of child sexual exploitation, please contact your local police department. Resources for victims of child exploitation can be found by clicking this link.

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