FORT WALTON BEACH MAN PLEADS NO CONTEST FOR TRAVELING TO MEET A MINOR FOR SEX AFTER PARENTS DISCOVER MESSAGES ON “KIK” SMARTPHONE APP
August 23, 2018
OFFICE OF THE STATE ATTORNEY FIRST JUDICIAL CIRCUIT OF FLORIDA
Bill Eddins, State Attorney for the First Judicial Circuit, announced in Walton County that 28 year-old Matthew James Reynolds of Fort Walton Beach entered a plea of No Contest today to one count of Traveling to Meet a Minor to Engage in Sexual Contact, one count of Using a Computer to Solicit the Sexual Conduct of a Child, one count of Unlawful Use of a Two-Way Device to Facilitate the Commission of a Felony, and nine counts of Possession of Child Pornography. Circuit Judge Kelvin Wells sentenced Reynolds to 15 years in the Department of Corrections. Upon his release from prison, Reynolds will serve 10 years on Sex Offender probation and will be required to wear an electronic monitor. He can have no contact with the victim or any minors. He will also be required to register as a Sexual Offender for the remainder of his life.
These charges arose in March of 2018 after the parents of the 15-year-old victim discovered that Reynolds had been communicating with the victim on the Kik app. It was later learned that Reynolds had been asking the minor victim for pictures in exchange for sending the minor victim gift cards. Law enforcement took over the communication with Reynolds and Reynolds continued to chat with who he thought was the minor victim. Reynolds eventually traveled to a location in Walton County, planning to meet the minor victim for sex. Instead, law enforcement met him at the location and took Reynolds into custody. After his arrest, Reynolds gave consent for law enforcement to search his cell phone and nine images of child pornography were discovered. During interviews with law enforcement investigators, Reynolds admitted to the allegations involving the minor child.
The investigation was conducted by the Walton County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant State Attorney Jennifer A. Lieb prosecuted the case