U.S. District Judge Audrey G. Fleissig on Wednesday sentenced a man from Jefferson County, Missouri to seven years in prison on a child pornography charge and ordered him to pay $57,000 to victims.
Matthew Thilges, 60, pleaded guilty on June 7, 2023, to one count of receipt of child pornography. He admitted possessing images containing child sexual abuse on his cell phone and computer.
The investigation began after Thilges made a series of threats to kill employees of tech companies, including YouTube, Google, Facebook, and Twitter, his plea agreement says. At the beginning of October 2020, Thilges began threatening law enforcement and children. A court-authorized search of Thilges’ home near House Springs, Missouri later that month found electronic devices, a child-like sex doll, eight assault rifles, one handgun, and ammunition. Investigators found over 10,000 images containing child pornography on Thilges’ cell phone and computer and concerning images he had taken of a minor child in his home.
Judge Fleissig on Wednesday overruled Thilges’ objections to paying restitution to the victims who have been identified in the images and videos that he possessed. Those victims were notified about Thilges’ possession of the images and his criminal charge, and 17 victims requested restitution to compensate them for mental health treatment and other medical services, as well as other expenses and losses.
The FBI investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Colleen Lang prosecuted the case.