CHARGES: Matthew Boos, 24, solicited girl via social media - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

CHARGES: Investigators urge victims of Savage, Minn., pastor to come forward

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Matthew Boos, 24 Matthew Boos, 24
SAVAGE, Minn. (KMSP) -

On Monday, prosecutors levied felony charges of soliciting a child to engage in sexual conduct against a children's pastor after a 3-month investigation that led detectives to wonder whether there could be more victims.

After his arrest over the weekend, 24-year-old Matthew Thomas Boos was formally charged under the following laws in Pope County Court:

1. Solicit child or believe to be a child through electronic communication to engage in sexual conduct
2. Engage in electronic communication relating or describing sexual conduct with a child

Both charges carry a maximum sentence of 3 years imprisonment, a fine of $5,000 or both. Bail was set at $25,000 without conditions and $10,000 with conditions.

The charges allege that Boos attempted to solicit a girl via social media during a sting operation that began after a parent reported her daughter, who was under the age of 15, had received inappropriate messages via Facebook from an account under the name "Jordyn Saltzer."

Saltzer's Facebook page stated that she was fro Texas but now lives in the Mound, Minn., area and graduated from West Tonka Senior High School.

INVESTIGATORS URGE VICTIMS TO COME FORWARD

On Sunday evening, the executive pastor of River Valley Church, Darin Poli, assured Fox 9 News that the investigation did not involve any child in the congregation; however, the criminal complaint filed Monday is casting doubt.

In a release from the county sheriff's office, authorities revealed that investigators believe there could be more victims -- and Boos may have met them through his congregants.

Any victim or parent who believes their child may have been solicited is urged to contact local law enforcement.

PROBE BEGAN AFTER EXPLICIT MESSAGES FOUND

Investigators first took an interest in Boos after a Pope County mother called to report that her daughter had received sexually explicit messages online via Facebook.

Pope County Deputy Josh Owen traveled to the woman's home and viewed multiple messages between the girl and an individual using the name Jordyn Saltzer. The last contact the two had dated back to Dec. 14.

Portions of the most-recent conversation involved Saltzer asking the girl whether she was "bi-curious," and urging her to describe her panties and exchange nude photographs, according to the criminal complaints.

Charging documents allege Saltzer asked the girl, "if I was with u would u let me see ur boobs?"

The victim's mother also showed the deputy an e-mail she sent to other parents whose children were listed as friends of Saltzer, along with transcript photocopies of the conversations her daughter had.

BOOS ADMITS MAINTAINING FAKE FEMALE PERSONAS

The charging documents further state that in interviews with police, Boos admitted to maintaining fake female personas -- including Jordan Saltzer on Facebook and Robin Martens on MeetMe.

Boos admitted he maintained the accounts in secret and used them to chat with an estimated 15 girls under the age of 18, with some as young as 12 and 13, with the intent of soliciting nude photographs. Additionally, Boos told officers he had gotten nude pictures from "some of them."

Additionally, Boos stated that he met many of his victims through his position as a youth pastor and a majority of them were participants in the church; however, Boos said the girls did not know they were communicating with him.

Boos told police he found many of his victims by adding a friend of one of the youth group participants, and he assumed that is how he wound up communicating with the victim in Pope County.

Charging documents state that Boos told police he has struggled with pornography since high school, which is when he made the fake accounts; however, he denied saving any of the photographs that were submitted to him.

INVESTIGATION STRETCHES FROM SAVAGE TO ST. LOUIS PARK

Pope County recently became an affiliated member of the Minnesota ICAC Task Force, which collaborates with criminal justice agencies across the state to investigate and prosecute those suspected of exploiting children online.

In a release detailing the charges, the Pope County Sheriff's Office announced that the agency had, with the help of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension's task force and the St. Louis Park Police Department, executed a search warrant at Boos' home in St. Louis Park; however, few details were revealed.

MORE: Children's pastor arrested, accused of soliciting minor

Investigators spent three months collecting evidence against Boos for prosecutors, sending subpoenas to Facebook and using the IP addresses linked to the accounts to track down Boos. 

RIVER VALLEY CHURCH ANNOUNCES TERMINATION

Mere minutes after formal charges were filed, the River Valley Church announced that Boos was immediately terminated on Monday.

"First and foremost, I want to assure you that River Valley Church is committed to doing what is right. The safety of our children and church remains a high priority. We will also continue to hold all of our pastoral staff to high standards of personal integrity," the religious organization said in a press release.

The church, which maintains six campuses, previously said that Boos cleared a background check when he was hired three years earlier. Now, pastoral leadership is affirming its commitment to cooperate with the investigation and is urging anyone with questions about the investigation to contact the Pope County Sheriff's Office.

"We are focusing on the well being of anyone impacted by these allegations and fully cooperating with the relevant authorities involved," the church's statement continued. "We also ask that you join us in praying for anyone impacted by these events and for their families in the coming days."

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