Matthew Locher: Man admits to grooming minor girls to CUT THEMSELVES and even asked one to KILL her parents
Warning: This article contains information about abuse that could be traumatic for some readers. Discretion is advised.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: A California man, Matthew Christian Locher, pleaded guilty after being accused of grooming teen girls to perform masochistic abuse on themselves, including encouraging one victim to even attempt to kill her parents.
Locher has admitted to preying on young minor girls with mental health issues such as depression, anorexia, and suicidal thoughts and talking them into hurting themselves for sexual pleasure. According to the US Attorney’s Office, Matthew Christian Locher pleaded guilty to one count of sexual exploitation of a child for the purpose of forcing and producing a sexually explicit visual depiction.
According to Daily Beast, Locher was arrested in Indiana on January 10, 2022, on a California arrest warrant with the testimony of countless victims and their parents. In a press statement released by the US attorney stated, “Locher groomed his victims to engage in self-mutilation and instructed one victim struggling with an eating disorder to starve herself, ordering her to film herself cutting her body when she disobeyed him.”
The 31-year-old used screen names including 'The Hat,' 'MattheHat,' 'HeyThere,' and 'Shark'. As per the arrest warrant, Locher preyed on girls who posted in online support groups and used the platform named Discord to create a relationship with them. Later, he convinced the girls to enter into a video relationship and he was often successful in getting them to engage in “masochistic abuse”. He stated in the court that it was purely for his sexual gratification. He tried to talk the girls into becoming his “slave” or “pet,” according to the original arrest warrant.
At least two of his victims who are minors sent him images after self-harming. One had cut her breast, according to images found on his computer. Meanwhile, another victim, self-mutilated after he insulted her with racist slurs. He also convinced a third victim who was just 12 years old to set her home on fire. He asked her to kill her parents so she could travel to California to have sex with him. In the press release by the US attorney, it was stated that Locher had promised this girl that he would pick her up from her home and, “bring her to California and make her his slave."
Locher was moved to California shortly after his Indiana arrest. He initially pleaded not guilty to an eight-count indictment charging him with sexual exploitation and attempted sexual exploitation of a child for the purpose of producing a sexually explicit visual depiction, enticement and attempted enticement of a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity, and receipt of child pornography. He might face 15 to 30 years in federal prison and will be sentenced in January 2023. However, his original indictment with eight charges carried a mandatory sentence of life in prison.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).