COVINGTON, Ky. — Last year, Matthew Bucher was sentenced to 45 years in prison for raping a 12-year-old girl and possessing child pornography.
Now, he's looking at another 15 years in prison after a jury found him guilty of 62 more felonies, including statutory rape of an underage girl. And he's still facing 63 more charges in three separate cases that are all scheduled for later this year.
Investigators have continued to identify more victims from homemade child porn and are trying to identify dozens more, according to Detective James Downs with the Kenton County Police Department.
"There are more victims than we have been able to identify," he said. "We've identified as many as we can."
Authorities said Bucher, 31, took advantage of dozens of underage girls in the Tri-State, meeting them online and lying about his age.
"These victims thought they they were in an ongoing romance with Mr. Bucher and, in fact, he was deceiving them the entire time, taking advantage of them the entire time," Kenton County Commonwealth's Attorney Rob Sanders said.
The five total cases against Bucher involve four separate victims. He's facing up to 60 years more in prison on accusations that he raped two girls, ages 12 and 15 at the time. During the trial last July, one girl said Bucher "took my childhood away from me" and made her grow up "too fast."
Downs said he admires their courage in being able to talk about what happened. Sanders said their testimony has been "very powerful."
"Each one of the victims so far has felt betrayed by Mr. Bucher," Sanders said.
Regardless of the number of times Bucher is convicted or how long he is sentenced to serve in prison, he will be eligible to apply for parole after 20 years. Sanders said he'll be waiting.
"We might be there in a wheelchair, but we'll be there to oppose Mr. Bucher's release and make sure that he stays locked up in prison forever," Sanders said.
Investigators said this disturbing situation serves as a reminder to parents to always be careful about who spends time with their children.
"The best thing I can tell parents is: Just be aware of what your children are doing," Downs said. "Talk to them. Depending on their age, have access to their accounts. Please pay attention. These guys can be very deceptive."