(Indianapolis, IN) – A Greensburg man is headed to federal prison for 25 years after pleading guilty to sexual exploitation of a minor.
The Office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana says 26-year-old Matthew Hostetler convinced a young girl from Oklahoma to send him sexual videos and pictures over the Internet.
The case began in 2020 when deputies in Winnebago County, Oklahoma started investigating an Internet chat group for men looking for sexual images of children.
Hostetler was identified posting photos and videos of a then-11-year-old girl he referred to as “Lola.”
Authorities say Hostetler hid behind the username “WARRIORHEART1997.”
FBI agents and Greensburg police officers served a search warrant at Hostetler’s home in April 2021 and seized his cell phone.
Investigators say many of the images Hostetler traded over Kik were coerced from the minor via Snapchat.
Authorities say he bragged to other group members that he had spent two months convincing the girl to believe she was in love with him and that he had forced her to send him the sexual materials.
The girl, who lives with her grandparents, told investigators that Hostetler told her not to talk to her grandparents about the activities, and he threatened her if she didn’t send him the images and 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,” Myers added.
After Hostetler serves his prison sentence, he will be on supervised probation for 30 years and will have to register as a sex offender.
If you are a victim of child sexual exploitation, please contact your local police department.
Resources for victims of child exploitation can be found at https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdin/project-safe-childhood.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.
For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.