MARLBORO – A Marlboro man has been sentenced to 15 years for engaging in a sexual relationship with a Virginia minor.
Matthew Essen, 22, recently received a total active sentence of 15 years in the Virginia Department of Corrections. He also received an additional 15 years of suspended time and is prohibited from any contact with the victim or the victim’s family.
In 2018, Essen began a relationship with a 14-year old girl from Loudoun County, Virginia over the Kik app. The pair used the app to talk and send photos.
In May 2018, Essen traveled from New Jersey to Loudoun County to meet the minor at a restaurant. Afterwards, they took Essen’s car to a local park and engaged in sexual activity, some of which Essen filmed on his phone and later sent to the girl via Kik.
The minor reported the incident to a school counselor the following day, who then contacted the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office. Loudoun County authorities were able to confirm the sexual encounter through a recorded phone call, with the help of the victim.
Essen was later charged with two counts of carnal knowledge, two counts of producing child pornography, one count of indecent liberties with a child and one count of proposing a sex act by communications system.
Essen pleaded guilty to all counts on November 19, 2018 before Judge Thomas D. Horne in Loudoun County Circuit Court
Before Judge Horne announced Essen’s sentencing earlier this week, he informed that Essen has a “high likelihood of re-offending.”
Upon his release from prison, Essen will be placed on of supervised probation for the remainder of his life and will be required to register as a sex offender.