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Wisconsin man sentenced for traveling to Minnesota intending to have sex with minors

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A 28-year-old man was sentenced today in federal court in St. Paul for traveling from California to Minnesota for the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct with underage girls.

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United States District Court Judge Donovan W. Frank sentenced Gabriel Vitali Matthias, of Madison, Wis., to 90 months in prison and 15 years of supervised release on one count of traveling in interstate commerce with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct. Matthias was indicted Jan. 12, and pleaded guilty on April 26.

In his plea agreement, Matthias admitted that on Feb. 16, 2009, he traveled from California to Minnesota for the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct with two female minors.

He also admitted that on April 18, 2009, he traveled from Madison to Roseville, Mich., for the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct with another girl who was younger than 18 at the time.

According to the FBI affidavit filed in the case, authorities first learned of Matthias' illegal activity after one of the minors involved in the Feb. 16, 2009, incident reported that Matthias had traveled from the west coast to see her. The two girls met Matthias through the Internet in 2008, and they eventually began communicating with him by telephone and text messaging. Many of those communications were of a sexual nature.

In early 2009, Matthias told the girls he was moving from California to Wisconsin and asked to meet them in Minnesota. On Feb. 16, Matthias picked up one of the girls, who was 13 years old at the time. He provided her with alcohol before taking her to a Bemidji motel room, where he engaged in sexual acts with her.

Later that night, Matthias and the 13-year-old left the motel to pick up the second girl, who was 14 years old at the time. Matthias then gave both girls alcohol and drove them back to the motel. They attempted to enter the building through a rear entrance but were scared off by a security guard. Ultimately, Matthias took the 13-year-old girl home. Then, while driving the 14-year-old home, he engaged in sexual conduct with her. In addition, Matthias traveled from Madison, Wis., to Roseville, Mich., on April 18, 2009, for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with another female who was younger than 18 at the time.

Matthias was arrested May 1, 2009, in Madison, Wis., and extradited to Minnesota.

This case was the result of an investigation by the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office, the Cass County Sheriff's Office, and the FBI, with assistance from the U.S. Marshals Service, the Madison, Wis., Police Department, the U.S. Attorney offices from the Western District of Wisconsin and the Eastern District of Michigan. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Otteson.

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