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Crime & Safety

Augusta man sentenced to 17 years in prison for abusing Columbus minors



COLUMBUS, Ga. – An Augusta man plead guilty to coercion and enticement of two Columbus minors that he befriended on the social media app Snapchat.

28-year-old Todd Matthew Jones was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Clay Land to serve 210 months on each count concurrent to be followed by ten years of supervised release.

According to court documents, Jones met a 13-year-old middle school male on Snapchat. Jones sent the victim sexually explicit photos of himself and encouraged the victim to do the same. After a few Snapchat conversations, Jones traveled to Columbus to meet the victim and sexually abused him. The victim’s mother found out about the relationship between the two and Jones was taken into custody on December 1, 2018.

During the investigation, agents found a second female victim who said she met Jones on Snapchat. The female victim told investigators she engaged in sexual activities with Jones on five occasions. The female victim was encouraged to send sexually explicit photos of herself to Jones. Investigators found sexually explicit videos of her on the Jones’ cell phone as well as child pornography.

Jones will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison. Jones previously pleaded guilty to two counts of coercion and enticement of a minor. There is no parole in the federal system.

The case was investigated by the Columbus Police Department’s Special Victims Unit and the FBI.