A former Riverside resident convicted on federal child pornography charges in 2002 was sentenced to 55 years in prison by a U.S. District judge on Jan. 7 for luring two minors into having sex with him.

At the time he was arrested on November 2006, Matthew Calek, now 28, had been out of federal prison for a little less than a year. But police began learning about Calek’s activity on social networking Web sites in the summer of 2006 after officers found a 14-year-old Pennsylvania boy, who had been reported missing, on a Northwest Side street on July 22.

The boy told police he had met someone on MySpace.com named “Josh,” who claimed he, too, was 14 years old.

“Josh,” who turned out to be Calek, let the boy know that if he ever had any problems at home, he always had a place to stay in Chicago.

After a family argument, the boy took up “Josh” on his offer in July 2006. Police found the boy two days later wandering the streets. The boy never met “Josh,” but did meet “Josh’s friend” – Calek – who raped him.

In October 2006, Calek, posing as an MTV “creative consultant” convinced a 17-year-old boy to audition for a film. While reading the script, the 17-year-old at first balked at performing a sexually explicit scene, but later relented thinking he would make more money as a film star than as a fast-food worker.

During the ensuing audition, Calek had sex with the boy and then threatened to distribute videos of the sex acts at the boy’s high school unless he agreed to more sex – or to provide him with others to have sex with.

The boy went to police, who retained text messages between the two. One of the messages said, “U have 2 choices. Its u or u find me some1else to play w.”

Police posing as the teenager set up a meeting and arrested Calek on Nov. 13, 2006.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie Porter, Calek will have to serve at least 85 percent of his federal sentence, meaning he’ll be 74 years old by the time he’s eligible for parole. If he is released, Calek will be under court-ordered lifetime supervision.

Of course, Calek was under supervised release in 2005, when he was released from federal prison for the first time.

That conviction had its origins in Riverside, where Calek had acquired a reputation as a troubled youth. Calek was used as a case study at the 2009 Crimes Against Children Conference in Dallas. A synopsis of the case study found on the organization’s Web site states:

“Matthew Calek went into juvenile detention for the first time at age 13 after terrorizing neighborhood boys and using knives to make them take their pants off. He bounced through a series of juvenile detention centers and mental institutions. He escaped for several weeks when he was 16 and molested two minors. Calek was released from juvenile correction when he was 19, because he was no longer a minor.”

He didn’t stay out of trouble for long. In January 2001, the 19-year-old Calek lured a 15-year-old Elmhurst boy to his home on Bloomingbank Road. After raping the teen, Calek planned to take him by car to Colorado, but got as far as Davenport, Iowa, before running out of money.

Calek burglarized vehicles for money and was arrested trying to use a stolen credit card. In Calek’s car, police found three spiral-bound notebooks with child pornography. Riverside police also charged Calek with rape, but all of the charges were combined into a federal complaint.

In 2002, a federal judge in Iowa sentenced Calek to five years for possession of child pornography, a ruling that angered Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel, who at the time was the detective working on the local case.

“I was very dissatisfied with that sentence,” Weitzel said. “I still keep in contact with the mother of that victim. She said she’s happy he’ll finally be put away.”

After getting out of prison in 2005, Calek temporarily stayed at his parents’ home on Bloomingbank Road before moving to Chicago, where he registered as a sex offender. His family no longer lives at that home in Riverside.

According to Porter, who prosecuted the 2006 cases: “By his own estimate, he has sexually molested children hundreds of times.”

In her position paper arguing for a lengthy prison sentence, Porter said that when Calek was arrested in 2006, he “possessed a thumb drive that contained over 1,200 images and multiple videos of young boys, including prepubescent minors, being sexually abused and exploited.

“This defendant hurts children. He has since he himself was a child. He threatens them, physically assaults them, manipulates them and leaves them scarred for life. It cannot continue.”

After the sentence was announced, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said, “This sentence will incapacitate this defendant and guarantee that he will inflict no further harm upon young victims for the foreseeable future, and we hope that it helps deter the conduct of other sexual predators and spares other potential victims.”