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Nebraska man's bail set at $500K on allegations that he solicited teen for nude photos to sell

Nebraska man's bail set at $500K on allegations that he solicited teen for nude photos to sell

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A judge has set a Staplehurst, Nebraska, man’s bail at half a million dollars on allegations that he solicited a 16-year-old boy for graphic photos in hopes of making money off them.

Butler County Attorney Julie Reiter charged Matthew French, 35, last week with sex trafficking of a minor, attempted creation/distribution of child pornography and felony child abuse.

If convicted, he would face 25 years to life in prison on the most serious count.

In an affidavit for French’s arrest, Butler County Sheriff’s Sgt. Zachary Pilcher said he was called to a high school in the county after the school’s superintendent called dispatch saying the school’s email security software had flagged an email that contained sexually explicit questions.

It had been sent to a 16-year-old student.

Pilcher said the teen said that French, an acquaintance, told him via social media that he could be paid $30 to $190 if he filled out a survey, which led to the email.

The sergeant said the email tracked back to French.

On Sept. 3, a search warrant was served at his Staplehurst home looking for electronic devices. Pilcher said he came to believe French was trying to get nude photographs in exchange for money and uploading them to an overseas website for potential payment.

At a first appearance in Butler County Court last week, French waived a preliminary hearing, and a judge sent his case to district court, where he is set for a plea hearing later this month.

Staplehurst is a village in Seward County, which adjoins Butler County.

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