Former L.A. Man Who Coerced Pre-Teen Girls to Self-Mutilate, Murder Enters Guilty Plea

Mathew Locher will face a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years and a statutory maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison
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A former Redondo Beach man has pleaded guilty to the monstrous abuse of young girls with mental health issues by enticing them to mutilate themselves and convincing one victim to murder her parents by setting fire to their Ohio home,  prosecutors said this week.

Matthew Christian Locher, 31, admitted he preyed on vulnerable underage girls on the internet and groomed them to engage in masochistic abuse in videos and photographs as his “pet” or “slave” for his sexual gratification from Nov. 2020 to May 2021, prosecutors said on Monday in a news release. He instructed one girl who had an eating disorder to starve herself and ordered her to cut herself and film it whenever she “disobeyed” him.

“Locher targeted girls suffering from mental health issues, including some experiencing depression, suicidal ideation and eating disorders. During online conversations, Locher groomed his victims to engage in self-mutilation,” prosecutors said.

Two of the girls sent photos and videos of themselves “committing acts of self-harm, which included cutting their breasts with razor blades,” prosecutors said.

 According to prosecutors, Locher enticed a third victim, a 12-year-old girl, to flee from her Ohio home and travel to California and have sex with him.

“Specifically, Locher encouraged the victim to kill her parents, at which point he would pick her up, bring her to California, and make her his ‘slave,’ the Justice Department said. “This victim began a trip to California after setting a fire in her family’s home in an unsuccessful attempt to kill her parents.”

Locher, who used various screen names, including “The Hat,” “MattheHat,” “HeyThere,” and “Shark,” was arrested on January 10 in Indianapolis. Locher relocated to Indiana in the summer of 2021 soon after federal authorities executed a search warrant at his residence.

United States District Judge Dolly M. Gee scheduled a January 17, 2023, sentencing hearing, at which time Locher will face a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years and a statutory maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison.

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