ALBANY, NEW YORK – Matthew Peters, age 48, of Schenectady, New York, pled guilty today to attempting to entice a minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity and to committing a felony offense involving a minor while required to register as a sex offender.
United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and Janeen DiGuiseppi, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), made the announcement.
Peters admitted that between October 2 and October 7, 2020, he initiated and exchanged sexually explicit text messages with an undercover law enforcement officer posing as a 14-year-old child on a social networking site. After learning the apparent child was 14 years old, Peters repeatedly asked the minor for “nudes” and “live” pictures. Peters also asked the minor to meet him on multiple occasions and discussed engaging in various sexual acts with the minor when they met. On October 6, Peters arranged to meet the minor the following day in Menands, New York. On October 7, Peters arrived at the prearranged meeting location in Menands, where he was encountered by law enforcement officers and arrested.
Sentencing is scheduled for October 10, 2023 before Senior United States District Judge Gary L. Sharpe. Due to Peters’ status as a convicted sex offender, Peters faces at least 20 years and up to life in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of at least 5 years and up to life. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, and other factors.
This case was investigated by the FBI Albany’s Child Exploitation Task Force, which includes members of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, including the Colonie Police Department, Rotterdam Police Department, and the New York State Police. Assistant United States Attorneys Rachel L. Williams and Alexander P. Wentworth-Ping are prosecuting this case as part of Project Safe Childhood.
Launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, Project Safe Childhood is led by United States Attorney’s offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), and is designed to marshal federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit https://www.justice.gov/psc.