Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

A Seattle man convicted of possessing child pornography and molesting an 8-year-old boy has been sentenced to 17 ½ years in federal prison. Matthew Keyes, 37, pled guilty after he was caught with 1,300 images and videos of young boys being sexually abused by adults—one of which showed him committing the gruesome crime himself. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer ran the story:

On Dec. 15, agents raided the Seattle home of Keyes’ mother, where he lived, and seized several computers, external hard drives and cameras. Confronted by investigators, he admitted to possessing child pornography but described himself as “only a gatherer, not interested in touching.” That, they soon learned, was a lie… A collector, distributor and producer of child pornography, Keyes was caught with 1,300 photos of children being abused or displayed. Also in his collection was at least one video showing him sexually assaulting [a] drugged boy.

Although Mr. Keyes’ case was a federal one, his crimes mirror those that the Attorney General’s Office sought to curb in 2010 with its support of HB 2424. This bill, which was signed into law on March 26, 2010, broadens the definition of possessing child pornography and gives prosecutors more tools in going after these sorts of crimes.

When the Attorney General’s Office noticed how often perpetrators guilty of possessing child pornography were often themselves abusers, we asked the legislature to pass HB 2424. The goal was to cut down on the sexual abuse of children by treating the possession of child pornography -- including digital images and videos -- as a serious crime.

In the case of Matthew Keyes, the relationship between viewing child pornography and molesting children has tragically held true. His crimes are horrific, but harsh sentences for assaulting a child and possessing child pornography will help ensure that innocent children are kept safe from dangerous offenders:

Following the sentencing, U.S. Attorney for Western Washington Jenny Durkan said she hopes the sentence “acknowledges the harm of his acts and seeks to ensure he never hurts another child.”

The Attorney General’s Office is committed to minimizing sex crimes against minors, and hopes HB 2424 will contribute to a significant reduction in the sexual abuse of children.

-Patrick Paterson-