Agents say New Ken man hacks 15-year-old girl's webcam for porn
Prosecutors from the state's child predator unit have added more charges against a New Kensington man accused of secretly “hacking” into a 15-year-old girl's computer web camera to capture nude images of her.
Matthew Edward Bockhouse, 36, of 1040 North Bluff Drive, faces three more charges, in addition to the 15 filed Feb. 13. The case is being prosecuted by the state Attorney General's child predator unit.
According to court papers, agents found 20 to 40 webcam videos of the girl in her bedroom and bathroom, including at least one showing nude images of her dressing and undressing. All were made without her knowledge.
Some of the child porn videos are less than 10 minutes long. One lasts more than nine hours.Bockhouse is accused of using a “P2P” or “peer to peer” file-sharing program to download child porn. One of the files was of the nude girl.
During the investigation, an agent was able to access numerous P2P addresses and download pornography from Bockhouse.
The state Attorney General's Office said it tracked child porn to computers in the New Ken-sington house where Bockhouse has lived since last April. The charges stem from alleged crimes since this Jan. 1.
In an affidavit, Bockhouse told agents that he has looked at child porn off and on for the past 10 years.
On Feb. 13, state Attorney General's agents and New Kensington police removed from his house two computer towers, a laptop, webcam and items to download to a file-sharing network.
Prosecutors tacked on the additional charges Thursday as Bockhouse appeared at a preliminary hearing on the original charges. Bockhouse waived those charges — that he made and distributed child pornography — to Westmoreland County Court.
Bockhouse remains in the Westmoreland County jail in lieu of $150,000 bond pending trial. Bockhouse told investigators he has been a “help desk analyst” for Reed Smith LLP since 2012.
On Thursday, spokeswoman Kathleen Williams said the international law firm, with an office in Pittsburgh, declined to comment Thursday except to say “it doesn't appear that he is employed there now.”
Last week, Bockhouse was accused of 15 counts of possessing child pornography and five counts of disseminating photos or films of sex acts involving children as young as 2 years old.
He also was charged with using a computer to distribute at least four child-porn files and downloading outlawed images. He was sent to the county jail in lieu of $150,000 bond.
On Thursday, a state Attorney General agent added three charges:
• production of child pornography;
• hacking into computers to obtain the images;
• invasion of privacy.
Suspect lacked an attorney
Bockhouse was scheduled to have a preliminary hearing Thursday, but initially didn't have an attorney.
He told New Kensington District Judge Frank J. Pallone Jr. that he applied for a public defender but was informed he earned too much money.
“I have worked, but the money all goes to our bills,” Bockhouse told Pallone. “My wife lost 60 percent of our income when I went to jail.”
Attempts were made to have a court-appointed attorney represent him. About an hour later, when an attorney was representing him, Bockhouse decided to waive all charges to court.
Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711 or firstname.lastname@example.org.