ST. LOUIS – A former Potosi, Missouri, police officer is now facing federal charges tied to child sex trafficking.
Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri said Matthew Skaggs, 39, was indicted March 29 and arrested on April 5 in the federal case.
Skaggs is charged with sex trafficking, solicitation of child pornography, and coercion/enticement of a minor.
He was first arrested in August 2022 in Washington County on charges of statutory sodomy or attempted statutory sodomy (with a victim under 14 years old), enticement or attempted enticement of a child, and endangering the welfare of a child.
The federal indictment alleges that between Jan. 1 and Aug. 10, 2022, Skaggs persuaded three minors into engaging in a commercial sex act, solicited a visual depiction of a child engaging in sexually-explicit conduct, and attempted to coerce a minor to engage in sex acts.
Prosecutors claim Skaggs met the victims through his work as a police officer, and that he committed the sex acts while on duty or in uniform.
If convicted, the trafficking and coercion charges each carry a sentence of 10 years to life imprisonment. Skaggs faces between five years and life on the solicitation charge. Each of the charges also carries a possible fine of up to $250,000.