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Whitman man, 23, pleads not guilty to charges of forcing adolescents to send explicit images

A Whitman man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to federal charges alleging he coerced adolescent boys to send him sexually explicit images of themselves via Snapchat.

Matthew T. Murphy, 23, entered his plea in US District Court in Boston to five counts of sexual exploitation of children, records show. His lawyer, Stephen G. Huggard, declined to comment afterward when reached via e-mail.

Following the hearing Murphy was remanded to federal custody, where he’s been since his March arrest in the troubling case.

Prosecutors allege Murphy initially posed as a girl on Snapchat in his interactions with the victims, before later demanding explicit photos.

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Murphy allegedly told one 14-year-old boy that he knew what middle school he attended and told him during online conversations that an image of him in his underwear would be sent to all his classmates unless he sent a nude photo of himself.

The child complied and sent the nude photograph, authorities wrote in court papers. But Murphy allegedly demanded even more from the boy who fought back during the Internet conversations.

“What is your decision,” Murphy allegedly wrote on Snapchat last Nov. 22, according to a federal affidavit.

“What are the choices?’’ the teen replied. “plz no i’ll do anything but send again.”

“Let me watch you in the shower. You alone rn? Hit vid.”

“No,’’ the boy replied.

“Yup.”

The boy asked why.

“Cuz I said,’’ Murphy allegedly responded.

Jury selection in the case is slated for Oct. 1, according to legal filings.


Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.