Matthew Toole could face 50 years or more in prison (© Trace Christenson/The Enquirer)

Man Linked To Child Porn Ring, Kidnapping Plot Enters Plea In Sex Case

January 29, 2019 - 9:27 am
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BATTLE CREEK (WWJ/AP) - A West Michigan man who authorities say was involved in a child pornography ring has pleaded no contest in a sexual assault case involving an infant girl.

Matthew Toole, of Battle Creek, entered the plea Monday to two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. He faces 50 years to life in prison when sentenced on March 11, according to the Battle Creek Enquirer

Toole's defense attorney says the 32-year-old decided to forego a trial. In exchange for his plea, several charges will be dismissed including child abuse and making and possessing child pornography.

Toole and his girlfriend, 33-year-old Talia Furman, were arrested last year. Both were accused of assaulting a 3-month-old girl and a 3-year-old boy. Her trial is set for Feb. 5.

Toole and Furman are also among four charged with conspiring to kidnap and kill a child in Branch County -- a plot that was never carried out. Investigators say the group was planning to kidnap a young child from a public place, subdue the child and then torture and sexually assault the child until their death. Then, according to police, they would dispose of the body. Police were investigating the child pornography ring when they uncovered conversations about plans to commit the acts. Trial in that case is set for March 19.