Former Goffstown youth coach gets 25 years in child pornography case
By PAUL FEELY
New Hampshire Union Leader
CONCORD — A former Goffstown youth sports coach has been sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for producing child pornography, including images of players on teams he coached.
Matthew Riehl, 25, of Goffstown, was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Concord to 25 years in prison for producing child pornography.
He was arrested in September 2016 on nine counts of possession of child sexual abuse images, Class A felonies, and prohibited use of an electronic device, a Class B felony.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Riehl coached youth sports teams in Goffstown, including junior varsity basketball.
While posing online as a teenage girl, Riehl contacted his victims through social media accounts and persuaded his victims to take photographs of themselves and send the photos to him.
When some of the victims sent pictures that were not sexually explicit, Riehl would contact and convince them to take photos showing more sexually explicit conduct. In some instances, Riehl was able to coerce the victims to send explicit photos by threatening to post on social media photos the victims previously had sent to him.
On Aug. 31, 2016, a search warrant was executed at Riehl’s home in Goffstown and his cellphone was seized.
A forensic examination was performed on the phone by the New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, which revealed approximately 500 photographs of minor boys in various stages of undress, including examples of child pornography.
According to police, many photographs included youths who were members of teams that Riehl had coached.
At the time of his arrest in 2016, the Goffstown School District confirmed Riehl’s employment in a statement saying:
“We are deeply troubled by the charges against Matt Riehl. The safety and welfare of our student athletes is our top priority. Matt was thoroughly vetted prior to becoming a basketball coach for the district. In light of these charges, the district will be taking immediate action regarding Matt’s employment.”
Goffstown officials had no comment Wednesday on Riehl pleading guilty.
He no longer works in the district.
Hal Jordan, president and chief executive officer of the Granite YMCA, confirmed that Riehl worked at the YMCA Allard Center of Goffstown for about a year and a half in 2012 and 2013.
Riehl, who previously pleaded guilty, was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison, followed by 15 years of supervised release. He will also have to register as a sex offender for life.
“This 25-year sentence demonstrates that those who use the internet to prey on young victims will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said acting U.S. Attorney John Farley in a statement. “It is a sad fact of modern life that some individuals adopt false identities on the internet in order to manipulate and exploit their young victims. We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute those who create child pornography. I commend the bravery of the victims and their families who cooperated with this investigation and encourage all parents to speak to their children about the dangers that lurk on the Internet.”
“This case involves an egregious breach of public trust, given Mr. Riehl’s former position in the community, and today’s significant sentencing ensures that he no longer has access to children,” said acting Special Agent in Charge Michael Shea of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Boston. “HSI is proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our law enforcement partners and other stakeholders aggressively engaged in the effort against child predators.”
“This investigation is another fine example of the collaborative efforts of state, local and federal law enforcement agencies working to bring to justice those who prey on society’s most innocent victims,” said Detective Sgt. Thomas A. Grella, commander of the New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.