COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – An Augusta man has been sentenced to serve more than 17 years in prison after pleading guilty in a Columbus child sex abuse case.
Back in December 2020, Todd Matthew Jones, 27, pleaded guilty to two counts of coercion and enticement of a minor in federal court.
According to officials with the US Attorney’s Office, Jones pretended to be a teenager, then met a 13-year-old boy over Snapchat. In his plea agreement, Jones says he sent explicit photos of himself to the victim, and encouraged him to do so as well, which he did. After more conversations over snapchat, officials says Jones came to Columbus to meet with the victim.
Investigators say the victim told them he hoped Jones would buy him a vaping kit, but instead sexually abused him. The victim’s mother found out about the relationship and Jones was taken into custody Dec. 1, 2018. The victim told investigators that Jones had told him “he sold ‘boy porn’ online.”
While investigating, officials say agents found a second victim, a 16-year-old victim who said she met Jones over Snapchat and would sneak out to meet with him. She told investigators she engaged in sexual activities with Jones on five occasions. Officials say she was also encouraged to, and did, send Jones sexually explicit photos of herself.
In addition to the 210 month sentence, upon release Jones will have a ten years of supervised release and be required to register as a sex offender. There is no parole in the federal system.
The case was investigated by the Columbus Police Department’s Special Victims Unit and the FBI.
“The families of the minor victims and the victims themselves in this case could never find justice in any sentence Jones could have received,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “This case is another example of how easy it is for young people to become victims by using social media apps. We hope that others can learn from this case and we will continue to pursue any predators who commit such heinous crimes.”