A man from Southern California pled guilty on Monday to federal charges alleging that he manipulated problematic girls as young as 12 into engaging in masochistic actions and even encouraged one to become his sex slave.
In a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, 31-year-old Matthew Christian Locher pleaded guilty to one count of sexual exploitation of a child for the purpose of generating a sexually explicit visual image.
Prosecutors claim Locher admitted in his plea deal that he engaged in online chats in 2020 and 2021 aimed at girls with mental health difficulties like depression, anorexia, and suicidal ideation when he was living in Redondo Beach.
“Locher groomed his victims to engage in self-mutilation, and he told a victim with an eating disorder to starve herself, instructing her to film herself slashing her body when she defied him,” “This is what the official statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office read.
Prosecutors say two girls sent him pictures of themselves cutting themselves.
Prosecutors say he also persuaded a 12-year-old girl to flee her home in Ohio and make her way to California so that they may have sexual contact.
Prosecutors claim the girl was encouraged by Locher to try to kill her parents by setting fire to her house, but she failed.
Previously, Locher had stated that he would retrieve her, “transport her to California, and make her his’slave,'” “official statements from the United States Attorney’s Office.
After the police raided Locher’s residence, he fled to Indiana. On January 10 of this year, he was apprehended in Indianapolis and extradited back to California.
When Locher is sentenced in January, he could get anywhere from 15 to 30 years in prison.