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Wisconsin man who traveled to Bemidji is indicted for traveling with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct

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Wisconsin man who traveled to Bemidji is indicted for traveling with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Gabriel Vitali Matthias, 27, of Madison, Wis., has been indicted by a federal grand jury.

He has been charged with one count of traveling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct and one count of coercion and enticement.


The indictment alleges that Matthias, formerly known as Benjamin Wayne Gill, traveled on Feb. 16 for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with two girls under the age of 16.

It also alleges that he coerced one of the girls into engaging in sexual activity on April 23.

One of the girls told authorities that they had met Matthias online in 2008 eventually began communicating with him over the telephone and by text messaging, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, citing the Federal Bureau of Investigation affidavit.

In early 2009, Matthias told the girls he was moving from California to Wisconsin and asked to meet them in Minnesota.

On Feb. 16, he allegedly picked up one girl, provided her with alcohol and took her to a Bemidji motel, where he engaged in sexual acts with her, according to the news release.

Later that night, they left the hotel to pick up the other girl.

He gave both girls alcohol and drove them back to the motel, but all were scared off by a security guard.

Matthias then took one girl home and while driving the other girl home, Matthias allegedly engaged in sexual conduct with her.

On April 23, he allegedly sent text messages to one of the girls, enticing her to commit sexual acts.

He was arrested May 1 in Madison and extradited to Minnesota. Investigating were the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office, Cass County Sheriff's Office, FBI, U.S. Marshals Service, and the Madison (Wis.) Police Department.

If convicted of the charges, the maximum penalty is life in prison on the coercion county and 30 years on the interstate travel count.

Matthias was sentenced in August in Beltrami County District Court for felony soliciting a child to engage in a sexual act and felony third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a victim 12-15 years of age.

Then, Beltrami County District Judge John Melbye sentenced Matthias to 20 months in prison, with the time stayed for five years, on the solicitation conviction, and 36 months in prison, with the time stayed for 15 years, for the criminal sexual conduct conviction.

He was ordered to serve 60 days in jail. Conditional release after confinement was set at 10 years. He must serve 15 years of supervised probation, serve 60 days in jail, follow conditions and pay fines and restitution.

Pioneer staff reports