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Fort Worth man sentenced to 30 years in prison after posing as teen to solicit nude photos

Matthew Ray Flores, 34, pleaded guilty in February to sexual exploitation of a child and possession of child pornography.

A Fort Worth man who posed as a teenage boy to solicit sexually explicit images from underage girls was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison Thursday, the U.S. attorney’s office for the Northern District of Texas said.

Matthew Ray Flores, 34, pleaded guilty in February to sexual exploitation of a child and possession of child pornography. The U.S. attorney’s office said for two years, Flores pretended to be 15-year-old “Ben Garcia” on numerous social media platforms to target 12- to 17-year-old girls.

In November 2019, Flores reached out to a 14-year-old girl and arranged a visit to her home, but because her family was inside at the time, he climbed into her bedroom through a window. “Shaken by his apparent age,” the U.S. attorney’s office said, the girl asked him to leave.

In the days that followed, Flores demanded the girl send him sexually explicit images of herself. The girl initially sent him partially clothed photos, but eventually complied and sent nude photos. Flores told her that because he now had “something to use against her,” she “better let him back into her home,” the U.S. attorney’s office said.

Over the next three months, Flores threatened to send the nude photos to friends and neighbors and sell them online to “rapists” if she didn’t send him additional photos, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. He eventually showed up at her bedroom window again with a condom, but she told him “we aren’t having sex,” and pushed him back out the window, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

“I was vulnerable and lonely, which made me an easy target,” the girl testified at Thursday’s sentencing hearing, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. “I’ll never be the same as I was before. I hated myself for so long, feeling so confused and alone because of him. … I can finally say this with the strength I have now: He has no power over me. I will not allow him to hold me back anymore.”

Flores exhibited the same pattern with at least seven victims in the two-year span, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

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