ST. PAUL — A Chippewa County man was sentenced to 30 years in prison for producing images of child sexual abuse.
Matthew Eric Dolven, 31, of Montevideo, was sentenced to 360 months in prison and 20 years of supervised probation after pleading guilty to charges of producing and distributing images and videos depicting his sexual abuse of a minor.
The 30-year sentence was handed down Wednesday by Judge Susan R. Nelson in U.S. District Court in St. Paul.
“Matthew Dolven’s egregious and despicable actions caused incalculable harm to the victim, harm that no child should ever have to endure,” said U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald in a news release. “For his crimes, this child predator will spend the next 30 years in prison.”
According to the felony information and documents filed in court, between June 1, 2016, and June 27, 2018, Dolven sexually molested a minor victim and used a smartphone to record the abuse, the news release states. He then used various social media platforms to distribute to others the child sexual abuse images and videos he produced.
Dolven also pleaded guilty in Chippewa County District Court to two felony charges of criminal sexual conduct in the second degree and criminal sexual conduct in the first degree for sexually assaulting the child that he photographed and videotaped.
He is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 14 in Montevideo for those charges.
According to court documents, the sentence for the federal charges needed to be completed before the sentence for the state charges could be handed down.
Dolven was initially charged in 2018 in Chippewa County Court with seven felonies, including dissemination of child pornography after he sent photos of a 3-year-old girl to an undercover FBI agent.
According to the criminal complaint filed in Chippewa County District Court in 2018, Dolven was communicating via an instant messaging app with a person who turned out to be an undercover FBI agent. Dolven told the agent he had touched the private parts of the child in the past and then sent several naked and closeup photos of the girl.
The IP address of the computer, which was obtained by the FBI from the internet provider, came back to Dolven’s residence in Montevideo, court documents said.
FBI agents arrived in Montevideo and a search warrant was executed the next day and Dolven was taken into custody and computers, phones and electronic storage devices were seized.
Dolven told police at that time he took photographs and videos of the child while she was sleeping and exchanged them online, according to the court documents.
The federal court took over the pornography charges while the criminal sexual assault charges remained in state jurisdiction.
The child pornography case against Dolven was investigated by the FBI, the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office, and the Montevideo Police Department. It was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Project Safe Childhood uses federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children through the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.