EUGENE, Ore.—A Bend, Oregon resident was sentenced to federal prison today for possessing and distributing child pornography, chatting online about having sex with minors, and engaging in a campaign of online harassment and threats, announced U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams.
Pierce Matthew Morrow, 25, was sentenced to 87 months in federal prison and ten years’ supervised release.
“The pursuit of individuals who post sexual images of children online is one of our highest priorities”, said U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams. “There was significant emotional harm inflicted by this defendant on the people he pursued, harassed and impersonated and the children whose images he posted online.”
“This case is disturbing. Morrow’s relentless, aggressive, and threatening behavior toward his victims – locally and in other parts of the country – shows the depths to which he would go to hurt others,” said Renn Cannon, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. “If you are a victim of a sexual predator or sextortion scheme, please reach out to us. We want to help you and protect other potential victims.”
According to court documents, during the period of July 2017 to January 2018, Morrow participated in the “Kid Porn Trade” Kik group, whose members posted images, videos and links containing child pornography. Morrow started Kik and Grindr chats by sharing an image of a 12-16 year old nude boy – who Morrow sometimes pretended to be in order to bait the other person. Using his knowledge of his peers from growing up in Bend, Morrow harassed multiple people online, sometimes managing to acquire nude images of them and making threats to obtain more.
Morrow openly assumed the identity of another person in making online threats, resulting in a victim believing that person, not Morrow, was harassing them. Morrow’s victims made reports and complaints to the police and to social media providers about the continuous threatening messages. Morrow skillfully inflicted harm on others, preying on young men’s fears and vulnerabilities, embarrassing them, threatening them, exposing and hurting them.
In a January 2018 chat between Morrow and a young adult male, Morrow sent unsolicited images of child pornography and encouraged the other man to consider sex with children. Morrow mixed child pornography with online stalking, solicitation and enticement of others with similar interests.
On July 1, 2020 Morrow was charged by criminal information with distributing child pornography, and on September 2, 2020 Morrow pleaded guilty to the charge.
The FBI investigated this case. It was prosecuted by Jeff Sweet, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.