With the help of a smartphone app, 32-year-old Matthew Tennison of Sand Lake, Michigan, solicited and received nude photos from three teenage girls, ages 14 and 15 (video below).
According to court records, Tennison also met with one of the girls in Wyoming, where they engaged in a “simulated sex act.”
On Jan. 30, Tennison was charged with fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, accosting children for immoral purposes and child sexually abusive commercial activity. Due to a plea deal Tennison accepted on July 22, some of the charges were dropped and he will serve between 32 months and 20 years in prison, MLive reported.
The victims confronted Tennison in court as he was sentenced on July 28. "We, as young girls, should not have to go through such terrible things," said a victim who was 15 when Tennison connected her over an app called Whisper, which allows users to post anonymous confessions and privately message each other.
"I hope he can realize how awful what he did was.”
Tennison apologized in court. “I just can’t express enough how sorry I am for all of this, for what I’ve done, and I want to take this opportunity to apologize to all I have hurt,”
One of the victim’s mothers told WOODTV that, although she’d talked to her daughter about the danger of apps like Whisper, Tennison took advantage of the teen. “That one person could ever convince themselves that this action is OK. I can’t understand. I can’t comprehend at all. I would just say how disgusting,” she said.