A Reynoldsburg man said yesterday that he persuaded girls on Facebook to send him nude photographs because he was "caught up" in his need for sexual gratification and couldn’t help himself.
Matthew C. North, 23, told U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson that he knew it was wrong to solicit the sexually explicit photographs, but, "I felt like it was a necessity to me."
Watson urged North to address his sexual addiction and "learn how to interact with people" outside of cyberspace. Then the judge sentenced him to 10 years in federal prison.
North, of S. Oakbrook Drive, pleaded guilty in May to enticing a 14-year-old girl to engage in illegal sexual activity. He could have received a life sentence.
He was indicted last year on eight child-pornography charges after a criminal investigation by Reynoldsburg police and the FBI. A federal complaint said that North had paid the 14-year-old girl to send him sexually explicit photos of her and had offered her $1,000 if she would take part in sex acts.
The sex acts never happened, but court documents say that North had contacted at least 13 other girls across the country via Facebook to ask for nude photos and sex acts.
The 10-year sentence was part of a plea agreement in which seven other counts involving four other minors were dropped. There was no indication that North shared the photos online or had any physical contact with any of the victims, Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather Hill said.
Adam L. Nemann, North’s attorney, said his client’s life seemed to fall apart after his father died nine years ago.
"He lost his way, he couldn’t hold a job, he didn’t know how to form relationships and he became isolated," Nemann said. "He didn’t really have any existence."
North has been in jail while awaiting sentencing. The judge recommended he receive sex-offender treatment while in prison and ordered him to register as a sex offender when he is released.