Former Tyrone officer sentenced to 140 years in prison for child sex crimes
Jury convicted Matthew Anthony New of child molestation, sexual exploitation of children
A former Tyrone police officer was convicted May 10 of taking semi-nude photographs of two juveniles who he encouraged to “strip wrestle,” prosecutors said.
Matthew Anthony New, 38, was found guilty of
38 different charges, most of which were related to possession of child pornography.
New was sentenced to serve 140 years in prison, followed by 10 years on probation, by Fayette County Superior Court Judge Mack Crawford. He declined to make a statement to the court immediately prior to sentencing, and he did not take the stand in his own defense, officials said.
New, who committed the crimes in Fayetteville, was put on administrative leave in February 2010 when Tyrone police were notified of the investigation; he later resigned while under an internal investigation of unrelated policy violations of matters including the potential falsification of time sheets, police said.
When New walked into the courtroom Wednesday morning, having been convicted of the cadre of charges just hours before, he nodded and half-smiled at his family and friends who appeared on his behalf.
The strip wrestling incident occurred at New’s residence in Fayetteville, and police seized his computer so it could be examined by forensic scientists at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, officials said.
That review showed that New had a number of pornographic images depicting minors, said Fayette County Assistant District Attorney Robert Smith.
It was not determined whether New had shared any of the images he photographed, but the GBI analysts found special file deletion software on New’s computer, Smith noted.
The photographs which were shown at the six-day trial were graphic and disturbing, based on the accounts of several courtroom observers.
Despite the pleas of his mother, grandmother and brother, Judge Crawford denied a request for an appeal bond, which was opposed by the state. Crawford said he would consider the matter at a future hearing if such a request were to be filed by New’s attorney, Tommy Ison.
Crawford sentenced New to consecutive 20 year prison terms on seven of the 38 counts, including six counts of sexual exploitation of children and one count of child molestation.
All told, New was convicted of two counts of child molestation, one count of enticing a child for indecent purposes and 35 counts of the sexual exploitation of a minor.
Following the sentencing, Prosecutor Smith noted that New also attempted to videotape the “strip wrestling” incident that he had encouraged between the two minors, but one of the victims prevented the recording.
The case was complex and was well-investigated by the Fayetteville Police Department, Smith said.