GALVESTON, Texas – A 47-year-old Galveston man formerly employed at Texas A&M University has been ordered to federal prison following his convictions of receipt and possession of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Matthew Irwin pleaded guilty March 22, 2016.
Today, U.S. District Judge George C. Hanks Jr. took into consideration all materials presented including victim impact statements and handed Irwin and 97 months in federal prison. In handing down the sentence, Judge Hanks stated that he needed to protect the members of society who could not protect themselves. Irwin will serve 10 years of supervised release following completion of his prison term, during which time he will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the Internet. Irwin will also be ordered to register as a sex offender.
Irwin was employed as an associate professor for Texas A&M Galveston at the time of his arrest. He had come to the attention of law enforcement after investigators found evidence he was accessing files from a website known to contain child pornography.
Law enforcement executed a search warrant at his residence on Aug. 6, 2015, at which time they seized a laptop and various external storage media devices. The forensic examination revealed more than 4,000 images and two videos of clearly young children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. These movies and images included children under the age of 12 engaged in acts of violence. Some of the images are of known victims as identified through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Irwin admitted he downloaded child pornography from the Internet, thereby receiving and possessing the child pornography found on his computer and external storage media.
Previously released on bond, Irwin was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The charges are the result of an investigation by the FBI and the Pearland Police Department.
This case, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Ann Leo, was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”