Former Marine Sentenced to 10 Years for Child Porn

Crime scene boundary tape. Getty Images
Crime scene boundary tape. Getty Images

A former Camp Lejeune staff sergeant has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for possessing child pornography.

Matthew Hartley Benton, 36, of Jacksonville was charged with receipt of child pornography after a search warrant was executed at his residence by Homeland Security agents on March 31, 2017.

Benton agreed to speak with the agents and admitted "downloading CP at times," according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Benton told agents he only downloaded images and videos from online peer-to-peer file sharing sites and explained that in their search they "would probably find 50 to 100 images of CP on his computer in hidden folders," according to the release.

What agents discovered were videos created from a hidden camera placed inside Benton's home that Benton admitted to purchasing and then using it women in the bathroom when living in California, according to the release.

When the investigation was complete, agents had found 2,860 images and 63 videos of child pornography for a total of 7,585 images of child pornography as well as 125 images of child erotica.

The release states that "many of the images depicted children less than 12-years-of-age engaged in prohibited sexual acts and multiple images of portrayed sadistic or masochistic conduct or other depictions of violence." Agents also discovered videos on Benton's electronic devices that he filmed using a hidden camera of partially nude children using the bathroom in his home.

Benton pleaded guilty on Jan. 4, 2018. Benton was sentenced March 20, in U.S. District Court in Raleigh by U.S. District Judge Terrance W. Boyle.

Upon release from prison, Benton will be on supervised release for five years.

This article is written by Mike McHugh from The Daily News, Jacksonville, N.C. and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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