32-year-old soccer coach Matthew Anthony has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison after setting up fake Instagram accounts to talk to young boys.
Anthony created at least two separate Instagram accounts that he used to communicate with underage boys. He would chat with them for a while before asking them for nudes.
“The defendant set up and used two fake female profiles. He entered into conversation on Instagram for the youngsters to send naked images of themselves to him.
He would ask some of them if they had seen their friends naked. Naked images of these boys were found on his device,” Prosecutor Neil Ahuja told the Daily Mail.
Anthony admitted to talking to the boys, asking them to send indecent images, and encouraging them to engage in non-penetrative sexual intercourse.
When police searched Anthony’s home, they found hundreds of nude photos — some were of children as young as 6-months-old.
His defending attorney says that Anthony knows he did something wrong, but that his client has a troubled past.
“He knows he has done dreadful things and that they’ve had a great impact on his victims’ lives. He was frank in his police interview to a degree.
His sexuality has been a troubling area for him since he was 15 years old when he discovered he was gay. He has never developed a proper relationship with any other male. He led a private life accessing pornography and had been for five or six years which progressed to more severe offences such as using the internet to induce children to send images to him.”
Most of the boys Anthony tried to coerce pics out of on Instagram were soccer players he coached on his team. For this, Judge Paul Glenn lambasted him during sentencing hearings:
“You targeted your victims and were aware of how old they were. You knew most, if not all of them thorough football coaching. There is a breach of trust to the boys and their parents.
It is plain a number were hugely embarrassed about sending you naked photos. Their images were stored. The victims refer to feeling stupid, distraught and disgusted. You goaded them into sending you more material by calling them cowards when they wouldn’t. It has had a profound impact on the victims and their parents.
You had a significant amount of pictures of the most serious categories A and B. One of those images were of five babies. Some at category C were of the victims.”
In addition to his two-and-a-half year prison sentence, Anthony is indefinitely barred from working with children.