Explicit Email Snagged by High School Results in Arrest of Butler County Man
By Bill Kelly , Senior Producer/Reporter Nebraska Public Media
Sept. 9, 2021, 5:31 p.m. ·
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A Staplehurst, Nebraska man is in custody after security software used by East Butler County High School flagged a sexually explicit email sent to one of its students. The message triggered an investigation that led to the arrest of Matthew French, 35. He is accused of soliciting pornographic photos of a teen-aged boy.
In court Thursday morning, the County Attorney brought three felony charges against French, including sex trafficking of a minor, child abuse and attempted creation of sexually explicit conduct involving children. The County Court Judge set Bail at $500,000.
According to a statement released by the Butler County Sheriff’s Office, in May, the superintendent of the East Butler Public Schools called “in regards to a sexually explicit email offering money for explicit photos” of a 16-year-old student. Security software used by the school intercepted the email, which included a sexually graphic questionnaire.
The arrest affidavit filed in Butler County Court states the email was created through an account set-up by French. The teenager told a sheriff’s deputy he knew French, who encouraged the boy to send photos to a specified email address in exchange for money. Investigators found French had created the account using a different identity. No images were exchanged in that instance. However, French reportedly told a sheriff’s deputy he solicited photos from other males and uploaded them onto an overseas website.
In Seward County, where French resides, the Sheriff’s Office is requesting the public provide information if they have information about teenagers receiving a sexually-orientated questionnaire or offers to pay for explicit photos.